DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 08 October) — Sixty-eight local government units in Mindanao constituted a fourth of the 263 recipients nationwide of this year’s Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG), with the country’s poorest region — the soon to be abolished Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) — posting the highest number among Mindanao winners.
Twenty-three local government units (LGUs) in the ARMM — one province (Basilan), one city (Lamitan in Basilan), and 21 towns — met the “all-in” performance indicators of the seven governance areas to qualify for the SGLG: Financial Administration, Disaster Preparedness, Social Protection, Peace and Order, Business Friendliness and Competitiveness, Environmental Management; and Tourism, Culture, and the Arts.
The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) raised the criteria for the SGLG this year from the “4+1 method” where LGUs must pass four core areas and at least one essential area, to passing all seven indicators.
Local Governments OIC Secretary Eduardo Ano praised the ARMM for “doing wonders,” noting that annually raising the standards of SGLG did not deter LGUs from improving as demonstrated by the ARMM.
“From zero in 2015 and six in 2016, (ARMM) took home 20 awards in 2017 and increased to 23 this year amid an ascending bar of SGLG criteria,” Ano said.
ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman thanked the LGUs in the ARMM for being part of the region’s good governance journey.
“Sinubok namin gawin ito sa loob ng halos pitong taon dahil alam namin na susi ang matuwid na pamamahala sa pagpapatakbo ng gobyerno. Salamat sa mga LGUs na nakilakbay dito” (We tried to do this for almost seven years since we know that good governance is the key. Thanks to the LGUs that joined us in the journey), Hataman told MindaNews.
Hataman has led the ARMM since December 2011, as OIC Governor from December 2011 to June 30, 2013, was elected in 2013 and reelected in 2016.
The ARMM, which years ago was dubbed a “failed experiment,” is deemed abolished upon the ratification of RA 11054 or the Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, in accordance with the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, the peace pact signed by government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
The plebiscite for the ratification of the Bangsamoro law is on January 21, 2019.
Awardees are given the 2018 SGLG marker, eligibility to the DILG Performance Challenge Fund (PCF) to finance their local development projects; and access to other programs and capacity development assistance from the DILG.
The DILG assessed a total of 1,682 LGUs nationwide. The awardees comprise 17 provinces, 39 cities, and 207 municipalities. Of the 68 Mindanao LGU winners, 11 are in Region 9 (Western Mindanao or Zamboanga region); 10 in Region 10 (Northern Mindanao); five in Region 11 (Davao region or Southeastern Mindanao); nine in Region 12 (Southwestern Mindanao or what is referred to as the Soccsksargen); 10 in Region 13 (Caraga) and 23 in the ARMM.
Among 17 regions nationwide, ARMM ranked fourth in terms of number of LGU winners. Region 1 has 51 awardees; Region 3 has 43; Region 4A has 24; and ARMM has 23.
Of the 17 provincial winners, two are Mindanao LGUs: North Cotabato in Region 12 and Basilan in ARMM.
Of the 39 city winners, the six Mindanao regions have one winner each: Dipolog City in Zamboanga del Norte, Region 9; El Salvador City in Misamis Oriental, Region 10; Digos in Davao del Sur, Region 11; Kidapawan in North Cotabato, Region 12; Tandag City in Surigao del Sur, Regon 13; and Lamitan in Basilan, ARMM.
Of the 207 municipal winners, 60 are in Mindanao, 21 of them in the ARMM, 10 in Region 9, nine each in Regions 10 and 13, seven in Region 12 and four in Region 13.
The municipal winners:
* in the ARMM, two towns in Basilan: Maluso and Sumisip; seven in Lanao del Sur: Buadiposo-Buntong,Kaptagan, Piagapo, Taraka and Wao; 11 in Maguindanao: Barira, Buldon, Datu Abdullah Sangki, Datu Paglas, Guindulungan, Matanog, Parang, Shariff Aguak, South Upi, Sultan Kudarat and Upi; one in Sulu: Talipao; and two in Tawi-tawi: Sibutu and Simunul;
* in Region 9, four in Zamboanga del Norte (Labasan, Liloy, Manukan and Pinan); five in Zamboanga del Sur (Dumalinao, Labangan, Mahayag, Molave and Ramon Magsaysay); and Zamboanga Sibugay (Diplahan);
* in Region 10, four in Lanao del Norte (Kapatagan, Sultan Naga Dimaporo, Kolambugan and Sapad); two in Bukidnon (Maramag and Pangantucan); and one each in Camiguin (Sagay), Misamis Occidental (Bonifacio) and Misamis Oriental (Lugait);
* in Region 11, four in Davao Oriental: Banaybanay, Governor Generoso, Lupon and San Isidro;
* in Region 12, two in North Cotabato (Magpet and Midsayap); two in South Cotabato (Polomolok and Surallah); and three in Sultan Kudarat (Columbio, Esperanza and Lambayong); and
* in Caraga, two in Agusan del Sur (Prosperidad and Trento), six in Surigao del Norte (Burgos, Del Carmen, Mainit, Malimono, Sison and Tubod) and one in Surigao del Sur (Hinatuan).
Assistant Secretary Jonathan E. Malaya, DILG spokesperson, said the Senate’s move to institutionalize the SGLG through Senate Bill No.1843 proves the effectiveness of the program in promoting good governance in the country.
“SGLG is the concrete program of the national government in recognizing and incentivizing good performance of LGUs based on comprehensive standards done through an objective assessment. That’s why it’s a seal, a badge of honor to recipient LGUs,” he said.
The Senate approved last month SB 1843 with 19 affirmative votes, no negative vote and zero abstention, on its third and final reading.
“There is no better way to ensure the continuity of a good program like SGLG but to enshrine it into the law of the land,” Malaya said. (Carolyn O. Arguillas / MindaNews)