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111 Bicol LGUs bag financial housekeeping seal

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SORSOGON CITY — A total of 111 local government units (LGUs) in the Bicol Region have passed the Seal of Good Financial Housekeeping (SGFH), one of the major criteria for the coveted Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG).

This was announced by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) in its website with the latest batch of passers published recently.

The list of first batch passers released included Guinobatan, Jovellar, Malilipot, Oas, Polangui, Rapu-Rapu, Santo Domingo and Tiwi in Albay province; and Basud, Capalonga, Daet, Jose Panganiban, Labo, Mercedes, Paracale, San Lorenzo Ruiz, San Vicente, Santa Elena, Talisay and Vinzons in Camarines Norte.

Also listed were Balatan, Baao, Bato, Bombon, Buhi, Bula, Calabanga, Canaman, Caramoan, Gainza, Libmanan, Lupi, Magarao, Milaor, Nabua, Ocampo, Pasacao, Pili, Presentacion, Sagay, Sagnay, San Fernando, San Jose, Sipocot, Siruma, Tigaon and Tinambac in Camarines Sur; and Bagamanoc, Baras, Bato, Caramoran, Gigmoto, Pandan, Panganiban, San Andres, Viga and Virac in Catanduanes.

Rounding off the first batch of LGU passers are the towns of Aroroy, Baleno, Batuan, Balud, Cataingan, Dimasalang, Esperanza, Milagros, Mobo, Monreal, Pio V. Corpuz, Placer, San Fernando, San Jacinto, San Pascual and Uson in Masbate; and Barcelona, Bulusan, Casiguran, Castilla, Donsol, Gubat, Irosin, Juban, Magallanes, Pilar, Prieto-Diaz and Magallanes in Sorsogon province.

Later on, added to the list were Mandaon, Masbate; Camalig, Daraga, Libon, Malinao and Pio Duran in Albay; and Camaligan, Goa, Lagonoy, Minalabac, Cabusao, Pamplona and Del Gallego in Camarines Sur.

In an interview on Wednesday, lawyer Arnaldo Escober, DILG assistant regional director for Bicol, said they will soon start assessment of the passers for the 2019 SGLG award.

Last year, only eight Bicol LGUs earned the award after a series of assessments conducted by an inter-agency led by the DILG in Camarines Norte, Legazpi City, Iriga City, Naga City, Paracale, Bula, Siruma and Pilar.

The award was an offshoot of the Seal of Good Housekeeping that was first introduced by the late DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo and which monitored and awarded LGUs with good performance in internal housekeeping specifically in the areas of local legislation, development planning, resource generation, and resource allocation.

Expounding from SGH, the SGLG originally had six basic elements: 1) good financial keeping, 2) disaster preparedness, 3) social protection, 4) business friendliness and competitiveness, 5) environment management, and 6) peace and order. It has now increased to seven with the addition of tourism, culture and arts.

A new issuance, Memorandum Circular 2019-44, stated that for a province to qualify, in additional to the seven areas, at least 10 percent of its component cities and municipalities must also be passers.

In the prefatory statement of the memorandum, Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año said the award aims to institutionalize the culture of performance among LGUs.

This year, the DILG has expanded the coverage of the SGLG to include barangays nationwide.

For a barangay to qualify for the award, it must pass all three core areas—Peace and Order, Financial Administration and Disaster-Preparedness—and at least one of the three essential areas—Social Protection, Business-Friendliness and Competitiveness and Environmental Management. (PNA)