LEGAZPI CITY, Dec. 22, 2010 – Two lowly municipalities of Bikol have been awarded an amount of P1 million each by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) as Performance Challenge Funds (PCF) for meeting the benchmark of good local government housekeeping.
These municipalities are Sto. Domingo, Albay and Mobo, Masbate which, along with 13 other considered top ranked local government units (LGUs) nationwide are being esteemed by the DILG for their good performance in internal housekeeping focused on good planning, sound fiscal management, transparency and accountability and valuing of performance information.
Sto. Domingo in Albay that sits near the southeastern foot of Mt. Mayon is a fourth class coastal town of nearly 35,000 population based on the 2007 official count conducted by the National Statistics Office (NSO). It has 23 barangays whose residents as mostly farmers and fishermen.
This municipality under the stewardship of its local chief executive, Mayor Herbie Aguas has been excellent in the Housekeeping area of good planning, transparency and accountability, valuing performance information and sound fiscal management, according to the DILG.
Mobo, Masbate under the leadership of its lawyer-mayor, Percival Castillo is also a fourth class town located around six kilometers next to Masbate city, the provincial capital. It has a population of about 33,000 during the 2007 census distributed among its 29 barangays whose economies are mostly dependent on agriculture and fishery.
This municipality has also been showing exceptional performances in planning, fiscal management, transparency and accountability and valuing performance information, the DILG said.
The 15 LGUs including Sto. Domingo and Mobo that are within the 4th to 6th class groups were recently given formal recognition and awarded the Seal of Good Housekeeping (SGH) in line with the DILG’s commitment to aggressively scale up interventions to elevate the practice of governance that values transparency, accountability, participation and performance into an institutionalized status.
The other municipalities are Anilao, Iloilo; Balete, Aklan; Balilihan, Bohol; Catigbian, Bohol; Clarin, Misamis Occidental; Dumulog, Bukidnon; Datu Paglas, Maguindanao; Leon B. Postigo, Zamboanga del Norte; Naawan, Misamis Oriental; Pitogo, Quezon; San Agustin, Surigao del Sur; Santol, La Union; and Tampilisan, Zamboanga del Norte.
Wearing the SGH also entitles each LGU of the PCF that will be utilized as a counterpart fund to LGU’s allocation from the 20 percent development fund for the implementation of projects that are consistent with national objective to achieve the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals (MDG), DILG regional director for Bikol Blandino Maceda on Wednesday said.
These 15 LGUs were the maiden batch of SGH awardees and they will also be the first grantees of the PCF that the DILG under Sec. Jesse Robredo is institutionalizing based on the Performance-Based Incentive Policy approved by the Development Budget Coordinating Committee (DBCC).
This Policy, Maceda said provides for an incentive framework to rationalize national government intergovernmental transfers to LGUs towards improving the latter’s performance in governance and delivery of basic services.
“By linking financial incentives to the LGUs own performance, the latter is motivated to perform better and deliver quality services to the people,” Maceda explained.
The PFC, he said is an incentive fund to LGUs in the form of counterpart funding to high-impact capital investment projects in the Annual Investment Program and funded the 20 percent Development Fund consistent with national priorities.
It shall seek to rationalize national government intergovernmental transfers to LGUs and encourage alignment of local development initiatives with national government development agenda and priorities, Maceda said.
The Fund shall be open to all provinces, cities and municipalities awarded with the SGH provided that the LGU shall allocate counterpart fund to implement capital investment projects aligned with the national development agenda and priorities, he added.
In a statement following the release of cash grant to the two Bicol towns last week, DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo said that “through the PCF, we are opening the window for our LGUs to manifest their competitive spirit and high-octane performance so that, hand in hand with us in the national government, we can ensure that economic development sets in at the local level to help eradicate or dramatically reduce poverty incidence throughout the country.”
The grants, according to Robredo may support capital investments from a menu of investment projects that support national priorities, particularly President Benigno Aquino III’s priority programs on improving social services, providing public infrastructure, enhancing economic services, climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction and promoting good governance. (PNA)