First Posted 10:35:00 08/28/2015
One of 2 provincial awardees in Eastern Visayas
Naval, Biliran – Taking on the challenge of good governance and transparency, Biliran province stands proud as one of the two provinces in Eastern Visayas to be awarded the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG), Northern Samar being the other awardee. In the national level, 41 out of 81 provinces passed the rigorous assessment to be granted the Seal of Good Local Governance.
The announcement came in a congratulatory letter from DILG Secretary Mar Roxas, conveyed personally by PD Marilyn Saboy of DILG Biliran Provincial office, who praised the provincial government in passing the stringent requirements that the agency has integrated in the SGLG, the ultimate measure of any LGU’s performance in good governance and transparency.
“Kami po sa DILG ay nagagalak na makibahagi upang maitaas ang antas ng ating serbisyo sa mamamayan at sa patuloy na pag-unlad ng ating bayan”, SILG Mar Roxas said in his letter.
Biliran Governor Gerry Boy Espina expressed his gladness of the award which, according to him, is a clear indication of the kind of governance that he has led since his assumption to office in 2010. He announced that the award also goes to all officials and personnel of the provincial government, whose services and performances represented the LGU in its entirety.
“Inaalay ko ang SGLG award na ito sa lahat na mga Biliranon, kasama ang ating 8 component municipalities, dahil sila ang inspirasyon ko upang maging maayos at makabuluhan ang pamamahala ko sa probinsiya bilang Gobernador”, Gov. Espina said.
Governor Espina also conveyed his gratitude to the DILG Biliran Provincial Office for being an active partner in good governance. Assessments in the 2011, 2013 and 2014 searches for the SGH and SGLG were conducted by a composite team of DILG officials from the regional and other provincial offices, but excluding the provincial office in Biliran.
Biliran’s commitment to uphold the values of good governance as essential in local public administration started in 2011 when it was awarded the Seal of Good Housekeeping (SGH) Bronze Category. Under this category, the assessment focused on accountable governance particularly of COA findings on financial transactions, and transparent governance which required adherence to the Full Disclosure Policy of Local Budget and Finances, Bids and Public Offerings that required posting for public access the provincial budget, income and expenditures, bidding documents, and 11 other financial and operational reports.
Since 2011, these documents are available 24/7 at the full disclosure boards located at the main lobbies of the main capitol building, the executive building, and the provincial hospital, as well as on-line at the full disclosure portal of DILG’s own website. The Bronze Category also takes into consideration the compliance to the Government Procurement Act under RA 9184, especially the presence of an organized and functional Bids and Awards Committee, and the compliance on posting requirement through the PhilGEPS of all biddings transactions.
In 2013, Biliran was again awarded the SGH, this time for the Silver Category. The same assessment of the bronze category was conducted, but added on top of it was a third set of requirements. These were the Frontline Service Performance, which requires an Excellent or Good Performance Rating in the Anti-Red Tape Act Report Card Survey (ARTA-RCS), the implementation of the Citizen’s Charter, the establishment of the Public Assistance and Complaint’s Desk, and the observance of the No Lunch Break Policy.
In 2014, DILG stepped up the Seal of Good Housekeeping (SGH) into the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) by incorporating the existing State of Local Governance Report (SLGR), the SGH, and the Seal of Good Financial Housekeeping (SGF). With the requirements from both bronze and silver categories, assessment now includes disaster preparedness, social protection, business friendliness and competitiveness, peace and order, and environmental management.
The SGLG becomes the new tool in assessing local government units where LGUs must attain a passing score in major assessment areas to become an SGLG recipient and access the Performance Challenge Fund of P7 Million. Of the 81 provinces nationwide, only 41 provinces met all the criteria of the core components to be awarded the Seal of Good Local Governance.
But many Biliranons noted that the cash prize notwithstanding, Biliran’s being able to establish itself as having a good and transparent governance, one of the only two awardees from the 6 provinces in Region 8, is a priceless achievement that will set the highest bar of standard for local governance in the province and in the entire region as well.