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Only 7 LGUs in Eastern Visayas pass DILG programJuly 25, 2011

PERFORMANCE of the local government units (LGUs) in Eastern Visayas with regard the implementation of Seal of Good Housekeeping (SGH) program has been found quite low, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in the region said. Millie Zabala of the LGU capacity development division of DILG, however, said this is just a partial evaluation of the performance and compliance of LGUs in the region relative to the SGH program. Have something to report? Tell us in text, photos or videos. The recent assessment was conducted by the regional validating team last April to July. Out of the 143 municipalities and cities together with six provinces in the region, only seven LGUs passed the standards of the SGH program. For the 4th to 6th class municipalities, only the town of Almeria in Biliran province qualified in the SGH. For the 1st to 3rd class municipalities, six localities were chosen. They were Laoang, Guiuan, Hinunangan, Naval, Alang-alang, and Jaro. Zabala said these LGUs have been compliant to the issuances and policies among cities, municipalities and provinces and their documents have already been submitted to the DILG central office for further validation. “Sadly, not a single city or province in the region passed the standards of SGH. But we are hoping that some of them would make it in the next round of validation that our team will conduct,” Zabala said. She said these seven local government units mentioned have been fully compliant of the requirements and standards of the SGH. Among the major requirements in the SGH is the full disclosure compliance of the LGUs. The full disclosure policy requires the LGUS to post in conspicuous places the 12 important documents on fund utilization, procurement and other financial transactions for public consumption and for purposes of transparency and accountability. On top of it, she said, they also need the 2010 annual audit report of the Commission on Audit (COA), which should be free from adverse findings to support the transparency of LGU transactions. “These documents are not new. These are supposed to be done for transparency and accountability,” Zabala said. Zabala said qualifying in the SGH would entitle a certain LGU the certificate of SGH, which would make it eligible to access the performance challenge fund. The performance challenge fund is a financial assistance to be given by the government to SGH qualifiers to implement projects within their respective comprehensive development plan or annual development plan. The projects should also address anti-poverty program of the locality, Zabala said. (Leyte Samar Daily Express)

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