PALMA's best practice that made it to the top rating was its road project initiated by mayors from the five towns in the province's first district, the towns of Pigcawayan, Alamada, Libungan, Midsayap, and Aleosan.
The mayors, supported by Cotabato Governor Jesus Sacdalan, banded together and pooled their heavy equipment, personnel and money to repair and construct cheaper farm-to-market roads in their remotest barangays.
Their motto is, "Together, Making Better Lives!"
Sacdalan said he was overwhelmed with joy by the achievement of the PALMA "that despite meager resources, the complex was able to deliver basic services to their people, especially the poor farmers in the countryside".
During his first state-of-the-province address Tuesday, he congratulated PALMA for being a finalist while implementing his key priority programs embodied in SHEEP, an acronym for Social and rural infrastructure, Health and social welfare, Education and environment, Economic empowerment and livelihood and Peace and security.
Sacdalan has committed his administration to continue the programs and projects started by former Governor, and now Vice Governor Manny F. Piñol.
"Our task is to build upon the accomplishments of the province, further enhance the provincial government's service to the people, move further onwards to peace and progress, and ensure a
better future for (North) Cotabato as embodied in the our Vision:Cotabato 100," Gov. Sacdalan said in his address.
Among the key programs in the governor's SOPA were the asphalting and rehabilitation of provincial roads, construction of water systems, services, expansion of the provincial government's college scholarship provision of lighting facilities, delivery of basic health and social program, high-value commercial crops development program, livestock dispersal and other livelihood programs, and peace and security efforts of the provincial government.
The Gantimpalang Panglingkod Pook or Gawad Galing Pook was launched in October 21, 1993 as the pioneering awards program on innovation and excellence in local governance. It was a joint initiative of the Department of Interior and Local Government (through its Local Government Academy), the Ford Foundation, and other individual local governance advocates from the academe, civil society, and government.
The Asian Institute of Management anchored the program until the Galing Pook Foundation was established in 1998 and a new foundation secretariat took over in 2001.
A total of 215 local governance programs have been awarded in the annual search for outstanding and trailblazing local governance programs from 1994 to 2005.
Among the award categories is the Outstanding Local Governance Program Award, which is given to each of the top ten (10) program winners. (MindaNews)