18 of 23 Bukidnon LGUs receive ‘Seal of Good Housekeeping’

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews / 8 Oct) – Eighteen of the 23 local government units in Bukidnon have been awarded their Bronze Seal of Good Housekeeping (SGH) for 2011 by the Department of Interior and Local Government, the most number in a province in Northern Mindanao, according to the DILG.

Gracelyn Abregana, program manager at the DILG-Bukidnon, said the list includes the provincial government of Bukidnon, the cities of Malaybalay and Valencia, and 15 of 20 towns.

Rene K. Burdeos, DILG 10 regional director, awarded Malaybalay’s seal to Mayor Ignacio W. Zubiri during the convocation program this morning.

“The (DILG) confers this Seal of Good Housekeeping to the City of Malaybalay, Bukidnon for Calendar Year 2011 in recognition of its efforts in advancing the principles of accountability and transparency in governance,” said the citation on the city government’s seal printed on a fiberglass plaque and signed by the late Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo.

Abregana said the seal is DILG’s way of recognizing the LGUs’ commitment to good governance.

She pointed out that the SGH is awarded to local governments that have no adverse opinion from the Commission on Audit (COA) and for full disclosure in financial transactions.

Bukidnon’s five towns that failed to get a Seal of Good Housekeeping award, she added, are the towns of Kibawe, Dangcagan, Kitaotao, Lantapan, and Baungon.

Initially designed for low income class towns, Bukidnon’s original recipients of the SGH are the municipalities of Damulog and Sumilao in 2010. Both towns obtained the award again this year.

Abregana said the 18 Bukidnon LGUs received a total of P147 million from the Local Government Support Fund (LGSF) and the national government’s Performance Challenge Fund (PCF).

She said Malaybalay received P60 million; Valencia City, P40 million; the provincial government, P30 million; and the towns received P1 million each. About P3 million from those received by the cities and province were from the PCF.

She said the LGUs received extra cash incentives from the LGSF due to the reduction of the internal revenue allotment this year.

In an earlier announcement, Burdeos was quoted as saying the fund may be used for development projects in line with the national government’s program to attain the Millennium Development Goals or other targets such as in tourism and economic development, disaster risk reduction and management, and solid waste management.

The projects, the DILG said, may include school buildings, rural health units, water and sanitary system, infrastructure, reforestation, and postharvest facilities.

Abregana cited that the criteria of the SGH this year included compliance to the Anti Red Tape Act (ARTA). The DILG announced that for this year a close scrutiny of the financial management of the LGU will be included. (Walter I. Balane / MindaNews)