As the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Region X ushers another year of program implementation, Regional Director Arnel M. Agabe emphasizes quality over quantity in prioritizing projects under the Assistance to Municipalities (AM).
Agabe made this statement during the recently concluded AM Program Regional Briefing and Re-Prioritization (Project Revision) Workshop at Grand Caprice, Cagayan de Oro City.
“Local chief executives (LCEs) could limit their AM projects to just one to two instead of having so many projects. It would be better if they just identify a couple of projects with greater impact to your beneficiaries,” Agabe said.
Said event was attended by LCEs, Local Development Council (LDC), Civil Society Organization (CSO) ExeCom members, Planning Coordinators, and Municipal Local Government Operations Officers (MLGOOs) of the region’s municipalities.
The activity aimed to consolidate the revised 2018 Local Government Support Fund (LGSF)-AM Priority Lists of Projects culled out from approved Local Development Investment Program (LDIP) of all municipalities.
Said priority list of AM projects will be submitted to the DILG and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Central Offices and will form part of the final lists of projects required by the General Appropriations Act of 2018.
A menu of AM priority projects were presented during the event which the local government units (LGUs) can choose from. The projects include the following: local access roads, potable water system projects, small water impounding projects, evacuation center and DRR related equipment, sanitation and health facilities, local bridges, rainwater catchment facility, and municipal drug rehabilitation facility.
Revised Budget Cap
“As far as AM fund is concerned, right now it is 45% lower than last year. That is the very reason why we called you up because we also have to meet the deadline for the submission of your priority projects funded from the reduced AM,” Agabe told the LCEs.
According to him, the lists of projects were already submitted but there is a need to re-prioritize and study the projects based on the decreased funding.
Monitoring LGUs’ Performance
Agabe also highlighted the importance of exemplifying good performance in the implementation of programs in the municipalities.
“We need to prove that we could deliver our projects as we are provided with financial assistance from the national government,” he said.
The Region X Director also said that the Department will be stern in monitoring project implementations such as on the ongoing Bottom-Up Budgeting (BUB) projects, Assistance to Disadvantaged Municipalities (ADM) projects, the still ongoing or have yet to be implemented Performance Challenge Fund (PCF), and AM projects.
“We want to prove to Congress that our LGUs now have that absorptive capacity to deliver and implement projects that are funded by our national government,” he said. “We need again to go back and reflect as to what we could do to ensure that aside from getting the AM, we would also be awarded with the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) because it would be best if we could improve our performance based on the standards set by SGLG.”