By Dr. Jun Ynares, M.D.
“Sir, your cellphone has not stopped ringing and the text messages have not stopped coming in.”
That was part of my conversation with my secretary which took place some two weeks ago. She was telling me about the reaction by friends and colleagues to the news that Antipolo City was included in the list of provinces, cities, and municipalities receiving the much-coveted Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
The seal represents a prize and an achievement. A local government unit (LGU) that earns the seal is entitled to several incentive programs from the national government. This includes access to the so-called Performance Challenge Fund and other performance-based programs.
The access means a lot to the development efforts of LGUs, particularly to their initiatives that require significant funding.
The seal also represents an achievement. It means that the LGU has met higher standards of performance and may have surpassed targets it has set for itself.
Previously, LGUs aimed for what was then the Seal of Good Housekeeping (SGH). This particular recognition meant that the LGU which got the SGH had met the DILG’s “Full Disclosure” Policy. This involved budgets, revenues, and procurement. It also meant that the LGUs which got the SGH had no adverse Commission on Audit (COA) findings and had complied with the requirements of the country’s laws against red tape.
That was the previous standard.
Then came the bigger challenge – the Seal of Good Local Governance.
Getting the SGLG means that the LGUs in the list have moved notches higher in terms of the standards of performance and public service set under the SGH program.
For an LGU to get the SGLG, it has to go beyond just good financial management and transparency. It must also meet the standards for other performance indicators.
These include the ability to meet the needs of the poor and marginalized sectors in its jurisdiction and the challenges posed by disasters and calamities.
It must also be able to show that it can encourage the entry of investors and businesses and generate employment for its constituents. In addition, the DILG says it must possess the ability to “protect its constituents from threats to life and security” and “safeguard the integrity of the environment.”
Meeting these standards has not been easy. That makes earning the seal a rather remarkable feat.
Earning the seal requires collaboration. It calls for all sectors within the local community to work together towards the same goal. This means the seal is a prize and achievement garnered not just by the LGU head but by every collaborating member of the community.
The list of SGLG list was released officially by the DILG last November 9.
We are pleased to share the honor with 61 other cities, 28 provinces, and 359 municipalities in the country.
Rizal province made it to the list of this year’s SGLG awardees. Also in that list are two other provinces in the Southern Tagalog Region – Laguna and Quezon.
Four towns in Rizal province also got the seal: Tanay, Taytay, Angono, and Binangonan.
Thanks to all who extended their greetings to us. Congratulations to all the awardees.
Congratulations to all the sectors in our local communities who collaborated with the LGU leadership to help their respective provinces, cities, and municipalities to meet the standards of excellent local governance.
*For feedback, please email it to email@example.com or send it to #4 Horse Shoe Drive, Beverly Hills Subdivision, Bgy. Beverly Hills, Antipolo City, Rizal.