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162 govs, mayors face removal from office for lack of public accountingJanuary 13, 2012

By DJ Yap

Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—One hundred and sixty-two provincial governors and mayors who failed to comply with the government’s full disclosure policy requiring them to make public the budget and finances of their province, city or town, face the prospect of removal from office, Interior Secretary Jesse M. Robredo has warned. In a news briefing on Thursday, Robredo said he has instructed field offices of the Department of the Interior and Local Government to send “show cause” orders to executives of the local government units concerned to explain or else face sanctions for not complying with provisions of the 2011 General Appropriations Act. At least 90 percent or 1,551 of the 1,713 provinces, cities and towns nationwide have complied with the full disclosure policy that requires them to post their budgets and other financial transactions on Web sites, general-circulation newspapers and other conspicuous places. Robredo said his department plans to make public the list of 162 LGUs that have not satisfied the requirement as part of the campaign to make local executives more transparent about their transactions. Non-compliance with the full disclosure policy may subject concerned local officials to suspension or removal from office on grounds of gross negligence or dereliction of duty, under Section 60 of the Local Government Code of 1991. “We want to strictly adhere with the full-disclosure policy because we want to uphold transparency and accountability in government and it is in keeping with President Aquino’s principles on good governance. More importantly, we hope that through this reform, we will be able to improve our services to the people,” Robredo said. According to the DILG’s accomplishment report for 2011, the high 90 percent compliance may be attributed to the “growing awakening among LGUs that good governance is synonymous to transparency.” Of the 1,551 compliant LGUs, the report noted that 72 are provinces, 132 are cities and 1,347 are towns. As for barangays, more than half, or 23,584 of 42,026, have already posted their financial reports in conspicuous places, Robredo said. “Local governments are now embracing the concept of transparency and accountability and have joined the journey towards good local governance,” he said. The secretary also said that in 2011, the DILG continued to place a high premium on local government performance as a total of 1,325 LGUs were conferred the “Seal of Good Housekeeping” for showing strong performance in key local governance areas, complying with the full-disclosure policy and having no adverse findings from the Commission on Audit. Of this number, he said, 351 LGUs received the Performance Challenge Fund (PCF) amounting to P7 million for each high-performing province, P3 million for each city and P1 million for each municipality. The fund was used to support anti-poverty disaster mitigation initiatives, Robredo added. “The days of mediocrity are over and from here on, strong performance shall be the cornerstone of any support that the government and development partners will provide LGUs,” he said.



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