No ‘Seal of Good Housekeeping’ for Bukidnon in 2012

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews / 29 June) – The Provincial Government of Bukidnon, which received the Department of Interior and Local Government’s Seal of Good Housekeeping in 2011, failed to obtain the seal in 2012, according to DILG provincial director Ronelo Alvarez.

The SGH, initiated by then Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo, is DILG’s way of recognizing the LGUs’ commitment to good governance.

Alvarez said one problem cited was a shortcoming in the full disclosure documents of the provincial government.

He cited that the Bids and Awards Committee fell short in the requirements of posting procurement information in the internet tool PhilGEPS or the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPS). It is the central portal that hosts information on the procurement of goods and general support services, civil works or infrastructure projects and consulting services undertaken by procuring entities of the government.

The provincial government has started posting documents on its website, The Full Disclosure of Finances, Bids and Public Offering (2013) page on the site, according to the note from the webmaster as posted, said it was created and published on January 2, 2013 and last updated on June 26, 2013.

Alvarez said the provincial government passed the other requirements for the SGH. In 2011, Bukidnon received an SGH for the bronze category.

Oscar Belderol, Provincial Bids and Awards Committee chair from January to June 2013, admitted to MindaNews Saturday that the shortcoming was traced to procurement transaction documents.

He said the provincial government is committed to complying with the full disclosure policy but cited transactional and technical difficulties. He said not all transactions could be posted on PhilGEPS as there are those that require only alternative mode of procurement.

He cited that they did not see the need to bid out supplies worth P5,000, which they procure via canvass among local suppliers.

He said the BAC Secretariat also encountered technical problems in posting information on the PhilGEPS site, citing delays in the response of the site. He said the technical problem is definitely not due to local internet connection.

As a consequence of the failure to obtain the seal, Alvarez said the provincial government is disqualified from implementing national government projects supposed to be downloaded to LGUs in the current year.

Alvarez cited that the provincial government is supposed to implement the Pamana ng Lahi Program of the Office of the Presidential Assistance for the Peace Process (OPAPP), where 2 of the 20 towns – Cabanglasan and San Fernando – were identified as pilot areas. The provincial government is supposed to receive P20 million for the project.

He clarified, however, that Bukidnon will not lose the project itself.

“It will just lose the opportunity to implement the project as funds will still be downloaded to the two towns,” he added. He said he learned of the short fall for the SGH award when the DILG national office informed him about the change of implementer of the project.

He also said the Department of Finance’s Bureau of Local Government Finance will not issue a certificate of loan eligibility if the LGU seeks to apply for loan from any financial institution.

Having no adverse or disclaimer opinion from the Commission on Audit and full compliance to the full disclosure policy are the requirements for the bronze category.

The criteria for the silver SGH include good or excellent performance as indicated in the Civil Service Commission (CSC) Report Card Survey on the Anti-Red Tape Act (ARTA) implementation, functionality of the Bids and Awards Committee and full compliance to the posting requirement of PhilGEPS.

The criteria for the gold SGH cover above benchmark performance in the Local Governance Performance Management System (LGPMS), presence of Internal Audit Office, functionality of Local Development Council (LDC), Local School Board (LSB), Local Health Board (LHB) and Peace and Order Council (POC).

The criteria also includes joint ventures or cooperative arrangements with people’s organizations and non-government organizations in the delivery of basic services, capability building, livelihood projects, agriculture- and other socio-economic development endeavors; and indigenous people representation in local sanggunian and other local policy-making bodies as embodied in DILG MC No. 2010-119.

No information available yet on the fate of Bukidnon’s 2 cities and 20 towns in 2012. The DILG website is offline as of this writingIn 2011, aside from the provincial government, Bukidnon’s 2 cities and 15 of its 20 towns got the DILG’s seal.