Cotabato City—Who says the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao is underdeveloped?
For the last time, and before it is dissolved to a new political order, ARMM topped most of the country’s 14 regions in the 2018 Seal of Good Local Governance Awards.
Gov. Mujiv Hataman said the ARMM will remain in the SGLG Map of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, even after it is dissolved for the incoming Bangsamoro ARMM.
ARMM will be abolished early next year, pursuant to Republic Act 11054, the Bangsamoro Organic Law, which will be sealed by a plebiscite slated for Jan. 21.
In an official list the DILG released Tuesday, 23 ARMM local government units—21 municipalities, one city and one province—won the 2018 SGLG Award of the DILG.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said it’s “all or nothing” this time in terms of criteria required of local government units in winning the 2018 SGLG.
As this developed, the Office of the Regional Governor has been certified Quality Management System-compliant as required under ISO 9001:2015, said lawyer Laisa Masuhud Alamia, executive secretary of the ARMM.
Alamia said ORG-ARMM has been ISO certified during the prior two years, making it consistently so, three years in a row.
DILG-ARMM Secretary Kirby Abdullah said Sharif Aguak, one of the SGLG winning municipalities, is the hometown of the Ampatuans. The current leadership of the town, under Mayor Maroup Ampatuan and Vice-Mayor Hadji Akmad Ampatuan, asserts it represents the other side of the family heavily bigoted for the gruesome Maguindanao massacre in 2009.
Of ARMM’s five provinces, Maguindanao has the greatest number of winners in the region—Barira, Buldon, Datu Abdullah Sangki, Datu Paglas, Guindolongan, Matanog, Parang, Sharif Aguak, South Upi, Sultan Kudarat, Upi.
Lanao del Sur has five winners in Buadipuso Buntong, Kapatagan, Piagapo, Taraka, and Wao. Basilan has three winners with two towns (Maluso and Sumisip) and the city of Lamitan. Tawi-Tawi has two in Sibutu and Simunul, and Sulu has only one in Talipao.
The DILG under Año has stiffened the competition criteria for the country’s LGUs vying for the award. It used to be the “4 plus 1 formula,” namely excellence in: 1) Peace and Order; 2) Business Friendliness and Competitiveness; 3) Environmental Protection and 4) and Tourism Culture and the Arts, plus Disaster Preparedness.
But unlike the assessment criteria last year, Año said the SGLG 2018 presents a more challenging requisite of hitting the minimum criteria in the Seal’s seven governance areas.
He said the core areas that aspiring LGUs should win are: Financial Administration; Disaster Preparedness; Social Protection; Peace and Order; Business Friendliness and Competitiveness; Environmental Protection; and Tourism Culture and the Arts.
In all, the National Capital Region has five winning cities; the Cordillera Autonomous Region has seven; Region I has 51; Region II with 22; Region III with 43; Region IV-A with 24; Mimaropa with four; Region V with eight; Region VI with 21; Region VII with three; Region VIII with seven; Region IX with 11; Region X with 10; Region XI with five; Region XII with nine; Region XIII with 10, and ARMM with 23 winning LGUs.
Hataman said 2016 statistics saw the region’s economic performance improving by 0.3 percent when it contributed 0.6 percent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
The region’s poverty incidence based on Family Income and Expenditure Survey remains high at 48.2 –and this is largely blamed on increasing number of dependents to income earners among families adversely affected by armed conflict.
Some LGU officials have urged the Philippine Statistics Authority to broaden bases of poverty statistics in surveys.
Beyond determining family income and expenditures, they said, surveys should also cover and include respondents’ access to livelihood, potable water, education, healthcare, and other social services.