Just as there is no letup in anti-crime and anti-illegal drugs agenda of the government, newly designated Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Officer-in-Charge (OIC) Eduardo M. Ano assures there is no easing off on steering local government units (LGUs) towards “not only being good but excellent at governance”.
“The advancement of local governance is just as important as protecting peace and order. The whole of the Department and its attached agencies are in no way slackening on our commitments in both the interior and local government sectors,” he says.
“It’s high time that we Filipinos not only aspire for ‘good’ governance but excellence and the DILG has over a dozen of ‘reform tools’ to move and assist LGUs towards that,” he points out.
For the public to take part in developing their communities, he says that citizens must first be empowered by knowing the programs, projects, and activities of the national and local governments.
“I’m pleased to join the DILG at its prime of delivering concrete results and I pledge to sustain and build on its feats,” he says.
Ano highlights and lauds 12 initiatives of the DILG for provinces, cities, and towns down to barangays that he says must be known by the Filipino public.
“Building stronger communities, stronger Philippines is a shared responsibility and vision. Let’s start by knowing, not because it’s a right to freedom of information but a responsibility of citizens to know what they can do for their country and not what the country can do for them,” he underscores.
The new DILG OIC cites 12 ways that the Department moves LGUs towards being excellent and efficient in local governance and development:
- Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG). It is a progressive assessment system to give distinction to remarkable local government performance across several areas. From the erstwhile “3+1” assessment criterion in 2016, LGUs have to meet the current "4+1” hurdle. They need to pass the four core assessment areas of financial administration, disaster preparedness, social protection, and peace and order, and at least one of the three essential areas of business-friendliness and competiveness, environmental protection, or tourism, culture, and the arts. Given this additional challenge, it is noteworthy that the number of SGLG awardees in 2017 is 46 percent higher than the total of 306 awardees in 2016.
- Performance Challenge Fund (PCF). The conferment of the SGLG comes with more than just recognition as the awardees are also provided with the PCF which they shall use to fund and implement development programs and projects. Among the completed PCF-funded projects are local access roads, urban roads and bridges, maternal or health birthing clinics, water supply systems, evacuation centers, and multi-purpose livelihood centers, among others. A total of P984-million is up for distribution to 2017 SGLG awardees.
- Full Disclosure Policy (FDP). This requires LGUs to disclose documents on their budget management, disbursement, and utilization to their constituents. Covering the third semester of 2017, 1,311 LGUs (72 provinces, 120 cities 1,119 municipalities excluding Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao or ARMM) are fully compliant with the policy. Disclosure is made through the posting of the necessary documents in conspicuous areas within their area of jurisdiction, and online uploading to the FDP Portal at http://fdpp.blgs.gov.ph/.
- Business Process Licensing System (BPLS) Automation. As mandated by President Duterte, processing of business permit application and renewal now use one, unified form, taking three steps or less to process, requiring two signatories or less for approval, and just two days or less processing time. A total of 1,422 or 94 percent out of 1,516 cities and towns (excluding ARMM) are now compliant with revised standards on BPLS.
- Sagana at Ligtas na Tubig (SALINTUBIG). This program paved the way for the completion of 800 water projects in 523 waterless municipalities and are now benefitting 835,956 households while the remaining 1,258 projects are in various stages of completion.
- Assistance to Disadvantaged Municipalities (ADM) - Water Project and Local Access Projects. A total of 2,409 out of 4,140 ADM Water Projects are currently benefitting 1,053,411 households in poor and waterless municipalities. On the other hand, completed ADM Local Access Projects include the improvement of evacuation centers, installation of steel gates, barriers, flood control and disaster risk reduction management (DRRM) equipment which are improving access to basic services and easing the transport of agricultural products from source to markets or outlets especially in areas that are flood and landslide-prone.
- Support to Conditional Matching Grant to Provinces (CMGP) for Road Repair, Rehabilitation and Improvement. It provides capacity development opportunities to LGUs to strengthen their capacity to plan, design, procure, implement and manage their local roads networks at par with national standards in an effort to improve road connectivity, raise competitiveness and promote local economic development. A total of 297 projects in 75 different provinces are currently under way.
- Assistance to Disadvantaged Municipalities (ADM). Through the program, Local Development Councils (LDCs) now follow the provisions of the Local Government Code of 1991 insofar as their required composition, representation of non-government organizations, conduct of meetings and creation of an Executive Committee are concerned. As of November 2017, ADM recorded a total of 1,195 or 82 percent of Municipal Development Councils (MDCs) that comply with the Code, exceeding the target 962 MDCs for the year. Likewise, 1,373 municipalities were capacitated on LDC strengthening and alignment of local plans with national priorities.
- Lupong Tagapamayapa Incentives Awards (LTIA). It is conferred to outstanding “lupons” or barangay officials who uphold the so-called “Katarungang Pambarangay” by resolving personal conflicts and differences reported within their areas of jurisdiction, and without the significant efforts of whom, the court dockets will be more congested. For 2017, 56 regional awardees were recognized and were each provided with a development grant of P50,000.
- Citizen Satisfaction Index System (CSIS). Another proof of DILG’s valuation of public opinion and sentiment is the use of CSIS under the Civil Society Organization-People’s Participation Partnership Program (CSO-PPPP). This program is a collaborative partnership that enables the public to relay to their LGUs the quality of service they render to them, in the hope of further improving the delivery of basic services to the people. A total of 30 municipalities conducted the CSIS in January to September 2017, thus bringing the overall total to 141 cities and 61 municipalities where CSIS was conducted since its initial implementation in 2011.
- Public-Private Partnership for the People Initiative for Local Governments Program (LGU P4). It is a vehicle for the private sector to participate in government projects for the provision of infrastructure and social services at the local level. A total of 280 LGUs of eight regions participated in conferences on LGU P4 last year as well as training on the documentation of model PPP practices.
- Operation Listo. Last but definitely not the least is the preparedness of LGUs for natural and man-made disasters. Operation Listo is an advocacy program mandating disaster-preparedness of LGUs using the whole-of-government approach. This is manifested in its three main components, namely: 1) Listong Pamahalaang Lokal through institutionalized local protocols for disaster preparedness, response and monitoring, 2) Listong Pamayanan or capacity development interventions from LGUs to be cascaded to the communities, and 3) Listong Pamilyang Pilipino focusing on the family and household-level preparedness. In 2017, DILG bolstered the mainstreaming of DRRM into the local and development planning of LGUs.
This year and onwards, Ano ensures that the DILG is living true to its brand of service as “matino, mahusay, at maaasahang Kagawaran para sa mapagkalinga at maunlad na mga pamahalaang lokal.”
He invites the public to participate in and be up to date with its programs and projects through dilg.gov.ph and DILG Philippines accounts in Facebook and Twitter.