Capitol, Virac doubtful for SGLG ‘grand slam’
posted 23-May-2018  ·  
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Achieving their third straight Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) this year will not be easy for the provincial government of Catanduanes and the municipal government of Virac following the implementation of more stringent evaluation criteria by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

DILG Catanduanes provincial director Uldarico Razal Jr. disclosed to the Tribune last week that the preliminary evaluation of the 11 municipal governments and the provincial government will begin this third week of May through a “table assessment”, with meetings held recently by DILG teams at the LGUs to orient them on the new guidelines.

Both Catanduanes and Virac secured their second straight SGLG award last year, bringing them a step closer to the coveted “grand slam” that they hope to achieve before the end of 2018.

Their dream, however, is in grave danger following the decision of the DILG national office to elevate the assessment criteria from the previous “4+1” to “ALL-IN”. This means that instead of getting a “pass” for two of the seven criteria, the LGU must pass all the areas of: 1)  Financial Administration; 2) Disaster Preparedness; 3) Social Protection; 4) Peace and Order; 5) Business-Friendliness and Competitiveness; 6) Environmental Management; and. 7) Tourism, Culture and the Arts.

Aside from passing these areas, the LGU has to demonstrate a positive result out of its reform efforts, taking into account local leadership and the cohesive action of the entire workforce, the DILG stated.

For the last three years, it added, the SGLG has recognized LGUs by looking at existing structures, systems and processes that promote transparency, integrity and quality service delivery.

While such efforts have yielded affirmative results, it stressed, not all LGUs have qualified for the Seal with only 27% as the highest passing rate.

In Catanduanes, only the provincial government and the capital town of Virac has a chance to earn the 2018 award, reliable sources said.

However, the new rules indicate that for the province to earn its award, at least 10 percent of its component municipalities must also receive a passing grade. Thus. for Catanduanes to achieve the grand slam, Virac must pass all criteria to win its third SGLG at the same time.

Under the guidelines, the “4+1” passers will only receive the Certificate of Merit and will not be eligible to the Performance Challenge Fund (PCF) given to Seal achievers.

In Financial Administration, among the new criteria in the elevated assessment are: 30% of the COA Audit Report recommendations must have been acted upon; full completion of PCF projects; and, approval of the 2018 Annual Budget within the prescribed period.

In Disaster Preparedness, the LGU must have been a 2017 Gawad KALASAG 1st place national awardee for best Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council or must have accomplished all of the required parameters.

It is in Social Protection that Virac would fail badly, according to the source, as it has completed a mere 32% of the 2017 School Board Fund, compared to the 85% required under the SGLG guidelines. Another new requirement is the establishment of a fully-staffed Persons with Disability Affairs Office (PDAO).

Eighty percent of the 20% Economic Development Fund must be completed, along with 80% of the Pre-Disaster allocation under the Local DRRM Fund.

For a province, the Business-Friendliness and Competitiveness criteria also states that at least 60% of the Conditional Matching Grant for the former KALSADA program for CY 2016.

Under Tourism, the LGU must have any two of the following: a) provincial tourism office or officer; 2) tourist information and assistance or tracking system of tourism data.

For Culture and the Arts, the LGU must accomplish any three of the following; 1) a council for its promotion; 2) at least 75% completion rate of the budget allocation for the conservation and protection of cultural property; 3) cultural property inventory; and, d) documented and published narrative of history and culture.

PD Razal remarked that while the new guidelines are a departure from “4+1” ruled, the criteria are the basic requirements of the PGU, meaning that if only local officials would do their jobs, they would automatically qualify.

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