ARMM towns cited for good governance: from 6 last year to 19 this year

DAVAO  CITY (MindaNews / 12 Nov) —  From zero in 2015 to six in 2016, there are now 19 towns and one city in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) that have been conferred the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

The SGLG awardees in the ARMM are Lamitan City and the 11 towns in Maguindanao, three in Lanao del Sur,  two in Basilan, and two in Sulu.

ARMM has five provinces — Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-tawi — and two cities — Lamitan and Marawi.

The 19 towns are Maluso and Sumisip in Basilan province; Calanogas, Kapatagan and Piagapo in Lanao del Sur; Barira, Buldon, Datu Abdullah Sangki, Datu Paglas, Gen. Salipada K. Pendatun, Kabuntalan, Matanog, Parang, Rajah Buayan, Sultan Kudarat, Sultan Mastura and Upi in Maguindanao; and Jolo and Talipao in Sulu.

This is the highest number of SLGL awardees in the ARMM, thus far. In 2011, 13 were cited for good governance performance. In 2012, the number dropped to seven.

ARMM comprises five provinces (Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-tawi), two cities (Marawi and Lamitan) and 116 towns.

Early this year, then DILG Secretary Ismael Sueno announced that the Department had scaled up the assessment criteria for SGLG with the inclusion of peace and order as one of the core areas.

The other core areas are financial administration, disaster preparedness, social protection, and peace and order.

The SLGL was piloted in 2010 as the Seal of Good Housekeeping, a brainchild of then Secretary Jesse Robredo to promote transparency and accountability in local governance. Robredo was killed in a plane crash in August 2012.

The SGH was scaled up into the SLGL “to provide a greater challenge for our local government units to continue their good governance practices while providing better services, and at the same time, expanding the coverage of the assessment.

In SGLG 2017′s ’4+1′ assessment criteria, LGUs must pass the four core areas and at least one essential area —  either Business Friendliness and Competitiveness, Tourism, Culture and the Arts, and Environmental Protection.

Awarded local government units receive an SLGL marker, access to other programs and capacity development assistance from DILG, and can be eligible to access the Performance Challenge Fund (PCF) to finance their local development initiatives.

“This is the result of our hard work and commitment in order to provide better services to our constituents,” the ARMM’s Bureau of Public Information quoted  Maluso Mayor Hanie Bud as saying. It is Maluso’  first good governance award.

“Actually, this is also a challenge for us in Maluso, we still need to work hard for us to sustain the award in the following years,” Bud said, adding that the key behind the award is transparency. “Dapat transparent ang LGU sa kanilang mga constituents, at ibigay ang nararapat para sa kanila.”

The municipality of Parang in Maguindanao has been a consistent awardee.

“The people of Parang deserve this award, this is for them,”  Parang Mayor Ibrahim Ibay said. He said they want the best for their town and worked for it. (MindaNews)