By Chito Chavez, October 23, 2019; Manila Bulletin

Image Credit to Philippine Information Agency cited by Manila Bulletin

Some 380 local government units (LGU) were accorded with the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG), a coveted award given to localities that exhibit excellent governance and delivery of public service.

Despite the more stringent assessment criteria, the DILG noted that the number of LGU passers this year is 44 percent more than last year’s 263.

DILG Secretary Edurado M. Año said noted the LGUs’ improved performance considering that “this year’s standard was beefed up to challenge them to up their game’’.

With their sterling performances, Año congratulated the LGUs which hurdled the more challenging 2019 SGLG criteria.

“This year’s SGLG is extra challenging and to see these 380 LGUs rise to the occasion proves that there is good work executed at the local level for the benefit of the Filipino people,” Año said.

“The SGLG awardees’ list is the kind of list that you want to be a part of. All LGUs in the entire country were assessed but not everyone made it,” he added.

The 380 SGLG awardees this year, composed of 17 provinces, 57 cities, and 306 municipalities, passed the polished and redefined “all-in” assessment criteria with specific modifications in most of the governance areas namely: financial administration; disaster preparedness; social protection; peace and order; business-friendliness and competitiveness; environmental protection; and tourism, culture and the arts.

“As much as we can, we make certain that we update the SGLG criteria and 2019 is no different, yet, it is noteworthy that despite a harder set of criteria, we gained a 44 percent increase of awardees,’’ Año explained.

Leading the 2019 SGLG passers are Region I with a total of 65 LGUs composed of 57 municipalities, six cities and two provinces closely followed by Region III with 63, consisting of 51 passers from the municipal level, 9 cities, and 3 provinces.

Regions II, Calabarzon, and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) round up the top LGUs with most passers with 40, 33, and 28, respectively.

“These are the usual regions on the top of the list and we thank them for their commitment, especially BARMM that made sure its programs are in place for the people,” he noted.

Northern Mindanao raked in 23 passers while Region VIII tallied 21 followed by Region XIII with 19, Region VI with 18, Region V with 14, CAR with 12, Regions IX and XI with 9 passers apiece, National Capital Region with 8, MIMAROPA with 7, Region VI with 6, and Region XII with 5.

Año added the 2019 SGLG awardees have 99 more municipalities and 18 added cities that have stepped up to the plate compared to 2018 while maintaining the same number of provincial passers.

“The validation and assessment are strenuous, yet we have 99 more municipalities and 18 more cities passing the stringent SGLG criteria,” he noted.

Año said that with the turnout this year and the enactment of Republic Act 11292, the SGLG Act, “expect continued progress and improvement in LGUs’ capacity to deliver quality service to the people.”

He revealed as an incentive, this year’s recipients will receive the 2019 SGLG marker; eligibility to the DILG Performance Challenge Fund (PCF) to finance their local development projects; and priority access to other programs and capacity development assistance from the DILG.

The conferment of The Seal will be held at The Manila Hotel on November 4 for Regions I, II, CAR, MIMAROPA and NCR; and November 5 for the remaining regions.