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Execs back Aquino's 'Tuwid na Daan'August 27, 2011

By Charlene Cayabyab OFFICIALS in Pampanga province committed to tread the straight and narrow path for transparent and honest governance as being espoused by President Benigno Aquino III. Members of the Provincial Board presented to Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Jesse Robredo a resolution, which stipulates the province's support to the National Government’s advocacy on transparency and full disclosure of policy on local governance. Have something to report? Tell us in text, photos or videos. They also vowed to implement programs and projects to alleviate the plight of their constituents. Robredo recently met Governor Lilia Pineda, Vice Governor Joseller Guiao, and members of the Provincial Board, department heads and municipal mayors in the province on local governance issues. Pineda asked Robredo to extend to the President the Provincial Government’s gratitude for the more than P100 million funding for various development programs in Pampanga. She said that Pampanga is entirely supportive of the President’s programs for development, adding that the Provincial Government officials work in close partnership with the DILG. Pineda, likewise, acknowledged that the Performance Challenge Fund (PCF) of the National Government is an effective strategy to achieve effective and efficient development at the local government level. The PCF provides financial incentive to the qualified local government units (LGUs) to jump start the implementation of development projects in pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and to address poverty. Pineda proudly announced that the municipal governments of Minalin and San Simon stand to benefit from the PCF as they are both recipients of the DILG’s Seal of Good Housekeeping (SGH). Mayors Arturo Naguit of Minalin and Leonora Wong of San Simon signed with DILG Regional Director Florida Dijan a memorandum of agreement, which stipulate the provision of P2 million funds each to their respective municipalities. The two LGUs will utilize the PCF for the construction of a three-classroom school building in Minalin and construction of a drainage facility Phase 2 in San Simon. Meanwhile, the municipality of Sasmuan is also expected to receive P1 million from the PCF soon. Robredo said these fourth to sixth class municipalities in Pampanga are among this year’s beneficiaries of the PCF, while the results of the SGH assessment for the first to third class municipalities have yet to be released. The SGH is conferred to local government units, which exhibited track performance on transparency or full disclosure policy and has no adverse findings from the Commission on Audit. Robredo added that the national leadership is advocating for the “matapat at mahusay na pamamahala” among LGUs throughout the country as he encouraged local chief executives to implement clean and honest governance. He also addressed the six priority concerns of the Pampanga Mayors League (PML) as he said that these issues all pertain to inadequate funding. PML President and Floridablanca Mayor Eduardo Guerrero said that the priority concerns of the PML are: overzealousness of non-government organizations in local governance; utilization of the 20 percent economic development fund as stipulated in the joint DBM-DILG circular; reduction of the internal revenue allotment by 4.8 percent; dilapidated fire trucks; gas allocation of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in the municipal level; lack of funding support in programs such as cleaning of Manila Bay and tree planting. Guerrero, in behalf of the members of the PML, appealed to the DILG secretary for assistance so the local chief executives could implement various projects. The event was also attended by PNP Provincial Director Edgardo Tinio, 703rd Army Infantry Brigade Commander Gregorio Catapang, Fire Marshall, DILG Provincial Director Angelina Blanco and other town officials. (With a report from Herbert Mapiles) Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on August 27, 2011.

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