Southern Leyte LGUs big winners in Local Legislative Award of E Visayas

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Southern Leyte LGUs big winners in Local Legislative Award of E Visayas

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte, Feb. 1 (PIA) - Two local government units (LGUs) of Southern Leyte ruled their respective categories in the 2010 Local Legislative Awards of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Philippine Councilor’s League in Eastern Visayas.

Macrohon ascended to the regional champion level among 4th to 6th class towns, edging out the much-improved Babatngon, Leyte and defending titlist Cabucgayan, Biliran (2nd runner-up); and past champion Balangiga, Eastern Samar (3rd runner-up).

Maasin City’s victory was no less sweet, for though it was the only component city to qualify under the search’s strict criteria, it bagged the Hall of Fame award for copping the title for three straight years. The awards were handed out to Mayor Maloney Samaco, Vice Mayor Effie Sabandal, sanggunian members and staff, by DILG Undersecretary Austere A. Panadero, subbing in for His Excellency President Benigno S. Aquino IIII and DILG Secretary Jesse M. Robredo who could not make the appointment due to pressing concerns in the Philippine capital.

In other categories Catarman, Northern Samar was declared winner over Hilongos, Leyte (1st runner-up) and Naval, Biliran (2nd runner-up) among 1st to 3rd class municipalities. Ormoc City won in the Highly Urbanized City / Independent Component City category.

In the President’s speech read by Undersecretary Panadero, he gave credit to DILG and PCL for instituting the search to highlight best practices among sanggunians and other capacity building initiatives even as he challenged councilors to move their LGUs to comply with the intent and letter of the DILG Memorandum Circular on Full Disclosure of public finances, which has been adopted under the 2011 General Appropriations Act and is a component of the COA audit. The President called the full disclosure memorandum the most concrete anti corruption tool that will allow citizens to engage in governance and make their LGUs accountable.

The President also urged local governments to be more proactive in identifying relevant issues and instituting reforms. Particularly local governments must attune their goals to national thrusts. President Aquino also stressed on the importance of building the capacities of communities to be resilient in times of disasters and expects LGUs to adopt climate change management framework in development planning.

Aside from DILG Undersecretary Panadero, other officials present in the awards ceremony were Deputy House Speaker Lorenzo "Erin" Tañada III, PCL National President Ronald Carcellar, PCL National Chairman Allan Zulueta, Leyte LMP President Remedios "Matin" L. Petilla, DILG-8 Director Francisco C. Jose, and Mayor Gerardo Espina Sr. of Kawayan, Biliran who was presented a 1-Million pesos grant of the Performance Challenge Fund, as a reward from the DILG for passing its Seal of Good Housekeeping criteria. The fund would be used for projects that address MDG targets, or the country's commitments to the Millennium Development Goals.

The LLA was first launched in the year 2000 as the Most Outstanding Sangguniang Bayan awards by DILG and PCL. It was adopted into a nationwide search in 2006 called Local Legislative Awards to include cities.

The local sanggunians were evaluated from the period June 30-2009 to June 30, 2010 and were judged based on five criteria: 1. Effectiveness of the Legislative Agenda (20 pts.); 2. Effectiveness of the Legislative Tracking System (25 pts.) 3. Availability of Legislative Documents (10 pts.); 4. Efficiency of Performance of the Sanggunian (25 pts.); and 5. Quality of Office set-up and staff complement (20 pts.)

Announcement of rankings and winners for the municipal categories were done during the awards ceremony itself. On the other hand, the cities of Ormoc and Maasin were the only ones that qualified in their categories for this year’s search.

Plaques for the winners were produced by DILG while the 10,000 cash for awardees was shouldered by PCL. Other program partners are the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), which are also part of the regional evaluation team that validated the results at the provincial levels.

The objectives of the LLA recognizing excellence in local legislation dovetails with the slogan "Tapat na Palakad, Bayang Maunlad" of Biyaheng Pinoy, the DILG program to celebrate 20 years of local autonomy. (PIA 8 with Myles Colasito) - - Austere Panadero

Boracay, Aklan