Two hundred sixty-three local government units (LGUs) won the highly coveted Seal of Good Local Governance of the Department of the Interior and Local Government this year, said Senator Sonny Angara.
Out of the total 1,682 LGUs assessed nationwide, Angara said 17 provinces, 39 cities, and 207 municipalities were given the seal during the two-day awarding ceremonies on November 6-7 held at the Manila Hotel where Angara served as guest of honor.
“The seal is the symbol of the initiatives of the LGUs to improve their services to the public,” said Angara, chairman of the Senate local government committee.
“By shining a light on what the SGLG awardees have accomplished, we hopefully show others a path to good governance that they can emulate,” he added.
The DILG has scaled up its overall criteria this year where an LGU has to meet all the requirements provided under seven governance areas: financial administration, disaster preparedness, social protection, peace and order; business-friendliness and competitiveness, environmental management, and tourism, culture and the arts.
SGLG recipients are entitled to a cash grant of P3 million for each municipality, P5 million for each city, and P7 million for each province.
This year, the top five regions with the most SGLG awardees are the Ilocos Region with 51, followed by Central Luzon (43), and Calabarzon (24), Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (23), and Cagayan Valley (22).
Angara has sponsored Senate Bill 1843 institutionalizing the SGLG, an incentive program of the DILG that drives LGUs to reach high standards of governance.
The bill already passed third and final reading at the Senate and Angara is hoping the House of Representatives will also soon approve its own version of the SGLG Act.
The Senate bill seeks to add three more governance areas namely education, health, and youth, and to include barangays in the incentive program.
According to Angara, the proposed SGLG Act seeks to promote good public administration among LGUs and further improve their delivery of basic services to their constituencies.
“This program needs to be institutionalized after having pushed many LGUs to operate more efficiently, more effectively, and with more transparency and accountability,” the senator said.
Angara said the program helps the government “identify the exemplars in our midst.”
Aside from the proposed SGLG Act, Angara’s committee currently tackles several proposals to revisit the 27-year-old Local Government Code, which has remained relatively unchanged since its enactment in 1991.
“For growth to be inclusive, we need to capacitate LGUs by giving them more powers and funds to ensure a more efficient, effective and responsive delivery of basic services,” the lawmaker said.