Butuan City – Local Chief Executives in the region, Regional Line Agencies (RLAs), Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), academe and DILG personnel converged here for the Regional Forum on Local Governance in commemoration of the 21st year of the Local Government Code.
DILG Regional Director Lilibeth A. Famacion, in her welcome message said that collective efforts will set the direction for good governance as the principles of participation, accountability, responsiveness and transparency are being uphold and put into action.
Butuan City Mayor Ferdinand M. Amante, Jr., who graced the event, emphasized the essence of local autonomy in the country as local governments have exercised certain basic powers to provide for the best interest of their constituents.
The forum proper started with NEDA-Caraga Assistant Regional Director MylahCariño presenting the status of Caraga in terms of development and areas of improvement where the region needs to recover and focus its attention such as the presence of low water quality and forest degradation.
The Regional State of Local Governance Report was presented byCharissaGuerta of the regional officewho focused on five performance areas, namely: social, economic, environmental, administrative and valuing fundamentals. Her report focused on the need to address the increasing incidence of AIDS/HIV cases in the country, as well as the need to sustain LGUs’ compliance to the Anti-Red Tape Act (ARTA), which is an important component for the Seal of Good Housekeeping (SGH) for CY 2012.
On the same day, the accomplishments and exemplary performance of the regional awardees of the GawadPamanangLahi(GPL) 2012 took center stage. Board Member Simeon Vicente Castrence, represented by Surigao del Norte Provincial Governor Sol Matugas, shared the provincial best practice on the aspect of “Social Transformation”. SurigaoCity Mayor Ernesto Matugasspoke on the city’s best practice on “Economic Viability”, while Hinatuan Mayor Candelario J. Viola, Jr. of Surigao del Sur shared the town’s “Environmental Integrity.”The GPL regional awardees were given plaques, certificates and a cash incentive ofPhP 1M for the municipality, P2-M for the city and P3- M for the province.
During the forum also, the municipalities of Magallanes, Agusan del Norte and Loreto, Dinagat Islands, being recipients of the DILG SALINTUBIG (Sagana at LigtasnaTubig Para saLahat) Program, received P3.5-million and P500,000, respectively, which represent the first tranche of release or 50% of the total project cost.
Meanwhile, symbolic checks equivalent to 80% of the total project cost were also given to the provinces of Agusandel Sur and Surigao del Sur as recipients of DILG – PAMANA (Payapa at MasaganangPamayanan) Program. Agusandel Sur Gov. Adolph Edward Plaza received PhP 56M for his province covering the municipalities of Sibagat, Prosperidad, Sta. Josefa and Veruela. On the other hand, Surigaodel Sur Gov. Johnny T. Pimentel received PhP 30.4 M for his province covering the municipalities of Marihatag, Bayabas, San Agustin, Tagbina and Hinatuan; and the cities of Tandag and Bislig. - Florian Faith Jr. P. Bayawa