Local government units (LGUs) should brace themselves for tougher Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) standards as the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is considering to raise its "all-in" criteria a notch higher for more improved local governance.
"We can only go up from here. The SGLG Awards will continue to raise its standards as we aim to provide the best service to our constituents, and inspire LGUs towards crafting policies for exemplary public service," says Department of the Interior and Local Government Eduardo M. Año during the SGLG 2018 awards ceremony held recently.
From the 1,682 LGUs assessed by the DILG nationwide, only 263 LGUs, composed of 17 provinces, 39 cities, and 207 municipalities, met the ‘all-in’ performance indicators of seven governance areas.
"Kung mapapansinninyo, bumabaangbilang ng mgananalongayongtaon, from 449 last year to 263 this 2018. With a higher standard set, we made sure that all the new seven key areas were not only met, but are satisfied with outstanding results," he says.
SGLG 2018 recipients, according to Año, underwent a stringent evaluation process utilizing the new "all in" scaled-up criteria tackling the seven governance areas: financial administration; disaster preparedness; social protection; peace and order; business-friendliness and competitiveness; environmental management; and tourism, culture and the arts.
"Only the best of the best were given due recognition because we wanted to aim for 'quality, not quantity'. Naging matindi ang ginawang pagtutok ng ating mga evaluators upang masiguro na pasado sa antas ang ating mga nanalo," he adds.
The DILG Secretary also commends the LCEs for steering their LGUs to greater heights of public service saying that he "appreciates and recognizes their efforts" to improve local governance adhering to the strict parameters of SGLG 2018.
"Alam namin ang pinagdaanan ninyo at ang mga pagsubok na hinarap at nilampasan. Hindi ito madali at talaga namang nangailangan ng matinding sakripisyo at dedikasyon. Together with your staff, stakeholders and citizens, you have exemplified extraordinary teamwork that earned you the prestigious SGLG," he explains.
Año says that as an incentive, this year’s recipients will receive the 2018 SGLG marker; eligibility to the DILG Performance Challenge Fund (PCF) to finance their local development projects; and access to other programs and capacity development assistance from the DILG.
Año also shares his elation to the impending passage of the SGLG Law which would only lead to more improved local governance and continued innovation for LGUs.
"I am happy to bring the good news, malapit nang maisabatasang Seal of Good Local Governance. Thanks to our legislators, who supported the institutionalization of the Seal," Año says.
Through the proposed institutionalization titled "The Seal of Good Local Governance Act of 2018 or The SGLG Act of 2018", SGLG will be the primary performance-based measuring program of the government.
Under the SGLG Act, an LGU can only qualify for the SGLG Awards if it passes the 10 criteria stipulated under the Act.
Included in the 10 criteria are: good fiscal or financial administration or financial sustainability; health compliance and responsiveness; disaster preparedness; social protection and sensitivity program; programs for sustainable education; business friendliness and competitiveness; safety, and peace and order; environmental management; tourism, culture and arts; and youth development programs.
The Council of Good Local Governance, compost of DILG, Department of Budget and Management, Department of Finance and National Economic and Development Authority, which will act as an advisory body in ensuring the proper implementation of the SGLG Award shall also be created under the SGLG Act.
The DILG will be the Secretariat of the Council and at the same time the implementing agency for the said Act.
Año also acknowledges Senator Sonny Angara and Senator Loren Legarda who took the lead in sponsoring the SGLG bill at the Senate, and Representative Luis Raymond Villafuerte, Jr and Representative Joet Garcia who authored the House version.
The Senate recently approved on third and final reading the Senate Bill No. 1843 to institutionalize the awarding of the SGLG Program garnering 19 affirmative votes with zero negative votes and abstention.