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LGUs urged to get creativeOctober 14, 2011

 By CZARINA NICOLE O. ONG October 14, 2011, 2:50pm MANILA, Philippines — Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse M. Robredo is encouraging local government officials to get creative with their local development projects and not rely mainly on the funds provided by the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA). “Local leaders need to think out of the box and make sure they don’t get into another box. Find ways to mobilize resources. Innovate,” Robredo urged. “It is time for LGUs to look beyond the IRA for funding, as it is an unpredictable amount at best,” he added, noting that the national budget increases from year to year, but the IRA continues to shrink. Robredo also urged officials to strive for the Seal of Good Housekeeping and continue the journey towards excellence in local governance. The DILG secretary said that the way to continue the journey to excellence is to make sure that performance-measured objectively – is the basis for rewards, and inability to perform is the basis for penalties and sanctions. “The greatness of this nation rests on the excellence of local government units; hence, LGUs should continuously up their games by improving their competencies and institutionalizing reforms in their systems in order to serve their people well,” he added. Last year, around 75 percent of the more than 1,600 provinces, cities and municipalities in the country have been conferred with the Seal of Good Housekeeping (SGH) for showing excellence in key local governance areas. However, the performance metrics and requirements for compliance to the SGH become more difficult this year as the SGH enters the second grade and further on to higher grades in the coming years. “The SGH and the Local Government Code are legal requirements – they are not suggestions. While we have a system of rewarding our LGUs, we also have a measure to make LGUs accountable for their slippages,” he said. This year, a total of P500 million have been awarded to good LGU performers through the Performance Challenge Fund, and this will be increased to P750 million next year.

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