By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan, February 10, 2023; Philippine News Agency

MANILA – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) encouraged the 350 local governments that received the 2022 Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) award to use their incentive fund subsidy on “high-impact” projects in their localities.

“We urge you to use this fund to affect positive change through high impact projects within your jurisdiction. Gamitin n’yo ang pondong ito para mas mapagbuti pa ang paghahatid ng serbisyo sa ating mga kababayan at gawing maunlad ang inyong mga lugar (Use this fund to improve service delivery to our citizens and make your areas prosperous),” DILG Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. said in a statement Friday.

The 2022 SGLG awardees include 18 provinces, 60 cities and 272 municipalities.

The SGLG incentive fund was established through Republic Act 11292 or the SGLG Act of 2019 which aims to harmonize local government initiatives with the national development agenda.

Maaari nilang magamit ang pondong ito para sa buong taon ngunit kinakailangan na bago at buo at walang kapareho sa ibang ahensiya ang proyektong paglalaanan nito. Lahat ng proyekto ay dapat makumpleto at ma-liquidate sa loob ng 12 buwan matapos matanggap ang Notice to Implement mula sa DILG Regional Office (You may use these funds throughout the year, but it must be utilized for projects that are new, complete and are not similar to projects implemented by other agencies. All the projects must be completed and liquidated in 12 months upon the receipt of the Notice to Implement from the DILG Regional Office),” Abalos said.

Abalos reminded the LGUs through its DILG Memorandum Circular No. 2023-019 that the SGLG incentive fund can only be used for projects that support the following areas: good fiscal administration; disaster preparedness; social protection and sensitivity program; health; education; peace and order and public safety; and business friendliness and competitiveness.

He urged LGU officials that the said fund cannot be used for training projects, financing of micro credits and loans, administrative and travel expenses, purchase of administrative office equipment, lot, and purchase, maintenance or repair of motor vehicles that are not used for in the work of SGLG.

He added to comply with the provision prohibiting the placement of the official’s name, photo, and likeness on government projects.

Huwag po nating samantalahin ang mga proyekto ng gobyerno at gamitin ito para sa pansariling kapakinabangan. Tayo ay nagsisilbi para sa taumbayan at hindi nila utang na loob na magbigay tayo ng magagandang proyekto at serbisyo dahil ito ay ating trabaho (Don’t take advantage of the government projects and use this for your personal gain. We are serving the Filipino people. They are not indebted to us for the projects and services we provide them with, because that is our job),” Abalos added.

Abalos said if the LGU was unable to use the funds before the end of the year 2023 or fails to start implementing the project within nine months after receiving the notice to implement, the fund will be returned to the National Treasury.

Among all the regions of the country, Abalos said Central Luzon garnered the highest number of awardees with a total of 61 LGUs composed of 51 municipalities, six cities and two provinces receiving the seal.

This is followed by Ilocos Region with 54 awardees comprising 48 municipalities, four cities and two provinces, and Region 2 (Cagayan Valley) with 35 awardees from 29 municipalities, four cities, and two provinces.

Other SGLG awardees for 2022 include five in the National Capital Region; 12 in the Cordillera Administrative Region; 29 in Calabarzon; six in Mimaropa; nine in Region 5 (Bicol); 27 in Region 6 (Western Visayas); six in Region 7 (Central Visayas); 16 in Region 8 (Eastern Visayas); six in Region 9 (Zamboanga Peninsula); 26 in Region 10 (Northern Mindanao); 15 in Region 11 (Davao Region); 13 in Region 12 (Soccsksargen); 17 in Region 13 (Caraga); and,14 in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. (PNA)