Noor Hafizullah Abdullah, Secretary of the ARMM’s Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), noted the citations are in “recognition of their good performance.”
“Last year, we have zero passers; this year we have six,” Sec. Abdullah said. The awardees are the province of Maguindanao, the city of Lamitan in Basilan, and the towns of North Upi and Parang in Maguindanao, Wao in Lanao del Sur, and Jolo in Sulu.
Sec. Abdullah added that the DILG-ARMM always assists LGUs that seek to pass good governance tests, such as the Seal of Good Local Governance and the Seal of Good Financial Housekeeping. Passing these tests mean better services to ARMM constituents and compliant with government requirements.
“I made a bold statement last month to other regions in Mindanao that ARMM will compete hard next year,” Sec. Abdullah added.
To be a recipient of Seal of Good Local Governance, an LGU needs to pass certain requirements namely improvements on performance, accountability, transparency, and participation. These requirements encompass three core assessment areas: Good Financial Housekeeping, Social Protection and Disaster Preparedness, and at least one from the essential assessment areas namely Business-Friendliness and Competitiveness, Peace and Order, or Environmental Management.
LGUs that meet the minimum criteria will not only be conferred with the Seal of Good Local Governance but will also be entitled to a package of incentives, such as the Performance Challenge Fund and access to other national performance-based programs.
In 2014, seven ARMM towns received the same award. The towns were Datu Odin Sinsuat, Parang, Sultan Mastura and Upi in Maguindanao; Ganassi and Wao in Lanao del Sur; and Siasi in Sulu.
The Seal of Good Local Governance, also known as ‘Pagkilala sa Katapatan at Kahusayan ng Pamahalaang Lokal,’ is awarded by the DILG annually to deserving provinces, cities and municipalities that perform well in various fields such as peace and order, environmental management, business-friendliness, and competitiveness.
This year, 46 towns in the region passed the 2016 Good Financial Housekeeping. Last year, only 17 ARMM towns received such recognition. The Seal of Good Housekeeping was launched by the DILG central office in 2012 to boost the government’s reform initiatives in the regions. (Bureau of Public Information)