By Hannah Torregoza
Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara on Thursday lauded the 263 local government units (LGUs) for bagging the highly coveted Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) this year.
Angara noted that of the total 1,682 LGUs assessed nationwide, 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.
The senator, who currently serves as the chair of the Senate local government committee, served as guest of honor.
“Ang seal ay simbolo sa patuloy na nagpupursige ng mga LGU para pagandahin pa lalo ang kanilang pamamalakad at serbisyo sa publiko (The seal is a symbol of the LGUs’ continued diligence to improve their governance and public service),” Angara said.
“By shining a light on what the SGLG awardees have accomplished, we hopefully show others a path to good governance that they can emulate,” the lawmaker added.
The DILG has stepped up its overall criteria this year requiring LGUs 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).
Earlier, Angara has sponsored Senate Bill No. 1843 institutionalizing the SGLG, an incentive program of the DILG aimed at motivating LGUs to reach the high standards of governance.
The measure already passed third and final reading at the Senate, and is waiting for the House of Representatives to soon approve its own version of the SGLG Act.
The Senate version of the bill seeks to add three more governance areas namely education, health, and youth, and to include barangays in the incentive program.
The proposed SGLG Act primarily 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 further said the program helps government “identify the exemplars in our midst.”