Four municipalities here, the Bohol Provincial Government, and the City of Tagbilaran are recipients of this year’s Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG), a performance indicator established by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in order to inspire local government units (LGUs)on leveling updelivery of services to their constituents.
For three years in a row, the province of Bohol has been conferred with the SGLG crown, and it is historic for the city of Tagbilaran as it got the award for the very first time since the SGLG was conceptualized by the DILG in 2010, first as Seal of Good Housekeeping (SGH).
The LGUs of Alicia, Duero, Bien-Unido, and Tubigon are among the four of only seven municipalities in Central Visayas, which will receive the SGLG award.
The SGLG recipients are expected to receive financial incentives from the DILG which will be used for localized projects and programs.
For the town of Bien-Unido, the award comes at a time when its people are still reeling from the alleged death of Bien-Unido Mayor Gisela Bendong-Boniel, whose husband, three-termer Bien-Unido Mayor and incumbent board member Niño Rey Boniel, has been accused as the alleged mastermind in the reported death and disappearance of the lady town executive in June this year.
Meanwhile, in Region 7, only Naga City of Cebu and Tagbilaran City of Bohol have emerged as SGLG awardees.
For the towns of Alicia, Duero, and Tubigon, the SGLG honor is a back-to-back feat as the three towns had also won the award in 2016.
The towns of Maribojoc, Talibon, and Trinidad, which were SGLG recipients last year, did not make it to this year’s list of awardees.
Earlier, the DILG said it had “scaled up the assessment criteria for SGLG with the inclusion of peace and order as one of the core areas.”
For 2017, the imposed the so-called ‘4+1’ assessment criteria, in which LGUs must pass the four core areas and at least one essential area either Business Friendliness and Competitiveness, Tourism, Culture and the Arts, and Environmental Protection.
Tagbilaran City, for its part, has been receivinghuge support and wisdom from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the latter’s Advancing Philippine Competitiveness (COMPETE) Project and Strengthening Urban Resilience for Growth with Equity (SURGE) Project.
Of late, the city has been enhancing areas forbusinesscompetitiveness, infrastructure development,and tourism innovations.
The city officials, led by City Mayor Baba Yap, want to establish a distinct identity for Tagbilaran, departing from the commonplace labelasmere“gateway to Bohol.”
Meanwhile, Bohol Gov. Edgar M. Chatto will receive the DILG awardfor the provincial government in a Manila ceremony likely graced by no less than Pres. Rodrigo Duterte on November 27.
Duterte earlier presented to Chatto and Acting Vice Gov. Venzencio Arcamo the “Most Business-Friendly Province” Award for Bohol given by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI).
The PCCI awarding highlighted the 43rd Philippine Business Conference at the Manila Hotel on October 19.
Business-friendliness and competitiveness are among the essential criteria of the seal award, also called by the DILG as a “challenge for greater performance.”
In another major goodnews, meanwhile, Chatto yesterday reported from Manila the final Monetary Board approval of the Central Bank full branch project in Bohol. (See separate story.)
Bohol’s grand selection among the DILG SGLG awardees in 2017 was posted on the DILG website on Wednesday, November 8.
Many from the government sector considered the provincial government as an SGLG “Hall of Famer” for grabbing the award for three consecutive years.
Of the country’s 81 provinces, only 28 made it to the SGLG this year and Bohol is reputedly the only provincial awardee for the third time in a row.
Aside from the provincial government, Bohol’s lone city, Tagbilaran, headed by Mayor John Geesnell Yap II and Vice Mayor Jose Antonio Veloso won the seal for the first time.
The other Bohol awardees are the municipalities of Tubigon of the First District, Bien Unido of the Second District, and Alicia and Duero of the Third District.
According to Provincial Local Government Operations Officer LoisellaLucino, the DILG is not formally giving a hall of fame distinction.
This is explained by the increase, change or adjustment in the criteria and standards, with additional requirements, in every selection year.
Still, Bohol deserves to be distinguished as a hall of famer, according to the government’s development partners likewise congratulating the province under Chatto.
The 2017 SGLG evaluation involves the core and essential criteria of financial administration, disaster preparedness, social protection, peace and order, business-friendliness and competitiveness, environmental management, and tourism, culture and the arts.
Bohol leads the Central Visayas awardees, which include the Cebu province, with one city and three towns only, andSquijor province, first-time awardee. Negros Oriental has none.
The seal is essential and one of its implications is the “advantage” of the awardee LGU in easily securing national agency support to its programs and projects.
The SGLG indicates the LGU’s competence, which is yarrdstick basis for assistance from the national agencies and even overseas development and institutional capability support sources.
Also, Bohol’s business-friendliest province recognition from the PCCI, the country’s biggest business organization, has a huge impact.
It is regarded as a strong endorsement of the province to both domestic and international investors, which can help propel Bohol’s economic growth against competition.
‘A DOER DREAMER’
As soon as the DILG released this year’s SGLG winner LGUs, governance capability consultant Rosalinda Paredes posted on her fb account, “Gov. Chatto never stops dreaming and doing. Such a remarkable combination!”
She cited that after Bohol’s PCCI award, Chatto issued an executive order enjoining all local chief executives to keep maintaining and enhancing the business-friendly LGUs.
Being a governance advocate, Paredes offered free services to guide the LGUs to meet the SGLG standards.
She said December of each year is a good start for the LGUs to “doself-examination of their services and processes to prepare for the SGLG assessment by the middle of each year.
“Each year, the DILG adds more criteria and performance indicators. We can make it if the local chief executive takes the lead,” posted Paredes who is also the USAID-SURGE coordinator in the city.
Since Chatto’s governorship in mid-2010, the province has reaped numerous governance honors and citations.
Just among them have been the Seal of Good Local Financial Housekeeping, Gawad Pamana ng Lahi, and Galing Pook Award.
Bohol has been acclaimed number one among the country’s “best governed provinces” based on the DILG Local Governance Performance Management System (LGPMS).
Honors are “just consequences of the convergence of our goals and efforts for the province,” said the governor whose management pursues what he calls shared leadership.
Chatto said, “Recognition does not punctuate our path. It rather pushes us to be greater than the challenge of sustaining our gains and attaining genuine inclusive growth.”(with a report from Ven C. Arigo)