The search for good performing Local Government Units to be accorded the prestigious Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) for 2017 has once again been initiated by the Department of the Interior and Local Government – Region XIII (DILG 13) as technical personnel in the regional office, provincial offices, down to the field officers start crunching data and accomplishing forms to assess and determine eligibility of the 67 municipal, 6 city and 5 provincial governments across Caraga Region to the SGLG and the Performance Challenge Fund (PCF) that goes along with it.

 

The SGLG is among the DILG’s flagship programs as it symbolizes integrity and good performance of local governments through continuing governance reform and sustained local development. It is a progressive assessment system adopted by the Department to give distinction to remarkable local government performance across several areas.

For 2017, the DILG raises its overall assessment criteria from “3+1” into “4+1”. In other words, LGUs now have to pass four (4) core assessment areas plus at least one of the three essential assessment areas in order to qualify for the SGLG. In the 2016 assessment, LGUs only had to pass three (3) core areas plus at least one assessment area.

From being one of the essential areas in 2016, Peace and Order has now been added to the core areas together with Financial Administration, Disaster Preparedness, and Social Protection. And this year, a new essential area—Tourism, Culture and the Arts—is likewise introduced to measure LGU efforts along these concerns. It joins the other essential assessment areas of Environmental Management and Business Friendliness and Competitiveness.

As such, all 81 provinces, 145 cities and 1,489 municipalities nationwide shall be subjected to the SGLG. In Caraga Region, all 5 provinces, 6 cities and 67 municipalities shall be covered.

Foremost in the phases of the SGLG implementation is the Regional Assessment wherein data gathering, validation and certification and on-line data entry and calibration are done.

To jumpstart the SGLG 2017 assessment, the DILG 13 conducted an orientation on the operational guidelines for the implementation of the SGLG 2017 last April 28, 2017 in Grand Palace Hotel, Butuan City, among DILG regional and field personnel, along with representatives from the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).

And in order to ensure that the data collected by the Provincial/City/Municipal Local Government Operations Officers for the SGLG are reliable, Regional Assessment Teams (RAT) comprising DILG personnel, CSO partners and selected National Government Agencies (NGAs), shall take the lead in the validation and certification of LGU evidence through appropriate methods such as documentary review, interview and onsite inspection.

The CSOs involved in the regional assessments were: Educational Discipline in Culture and Area-Based Development Services, Inc. (EDCADS); Propegemus Foundation Inc.;  Surigao del Norte People Initiative Development (SNPIDA); Wilson Agra Multi-Purpose Cooperative (WAMPCO); Surigao del Sur Organization for Human Development (SSOFHDEV); Surigao del Norte NGO Coalition for Development (SUNGCOD); SibogKatawhanAlang sa Paglambo, Inc. (SIKAP); Social Action Center of the Diocese of Butuan; Mary Mediatrix of All Grace Foundation; EderaEcleo Sr. Foundation, Inc. (REESFI); AgusanongKahugpungan sa Kababayen-an sa Agusan del Norte (AGUKAKABA); Wilson Agra Multi-Purpose Cooperative (WAMPCO); and Balay Mindanao Foundation, Inc. (BMFI).

Whereas the other NGAs invited to take part were: The Philippine National Police (PRO 13); National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA 13); the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD 13); Environmental Management Bureau (EMB 13); Office of Civil Defense (OCD 13); Department of Tourism (DOT 13); and Department of Health (DOH 13).

At this point, the cross-posted Regional Assessment Teams (RAT) at the provincial level are doing their rounds of validation in municipalities and component cities. And in May 22-June 1, the RAT of the Regional Office will conduct the validation visit among the provinces and Butuan City.

This is the fourth run of the SGLG since it was introduced from its predecessor—the Seal of Good Housekeeping (SGH)—which has been integrated in the SGLG as part of the Financial Management core assessment area. We have since produced in Caraga 5 LGU passers in 2014, 28 in 2015; and 13in 2016. Passers last year were conferred their SGLG 2016 markers last October 27, 2016 at Hotel Sofitel in Manila.

“This time around, we are hoping that more local government units can surmount the challenge and emerge victorious and be recognized as exemplars of good local governance not just in the region but in the entire country. And this is why we have SGLG in the first place—to encourage our LGUs to level up their performance. Because ultimately it is not just about the prestige of the recognition, but the benefits that redound to all our citizens as LGUs improve services and scale-up performance and truly become ‘gobyernong may malasakittungo sa pagbabago at patuloy na pag-unlad’,” Director Famacion said during the orientation of field officers.

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