All or nothing.
This is the challenge posed by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to local government units (LGUs) as it raised the bar of the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) criteria a notch higher for 2018.
DILG OIC-Secretary Eduardo M. Ano says that the new "All-in" assessment criteria of SGLG is another innovation that is expected to demonstrate positive results from LGUs further pushing the Department's objective for excellence and continuous improvement of local governance.
"Engaging and challenging LGUs to elevate their performance is one way of ensuring that we are fulfilling our mandate of serving the people. SGLG will continue to usher in new tools to ensure that we push LGUs for the benefit of the Filipino people," says Ano.
According to the DILG Chief, unlike the '4+1' assessment criteria last year where LGUs are only required to pass four core areas and at least one essential area, SGLG 2018 presents a more challenging requisite of hitting the minimum criteria in SGLG's seven governance areas.
These core areas are Financial Administration; Disaster Preparedness; Social Protection; Peace and Order; Business Friendliness and Competitiveness; Environmental Protection; and Tourism Culture and the Arts.
The LGU also has to demonstrate positive result out of its reform efforts taking into account local leadership and the cohesive action of the entire workforce.
He also added that for a province to qualify, 10% of the total number of cities and municipalities under its jurisdiction must pass the SGLG as well.
"It may be daunting for some, from 4+1 now it's all 7 core areas that they need to pass, but this should not dampen their spirits, on the contrary, it should inspire our local chief executives to outperform themselves and keep improving," he said.
Deserving SGLG recipients from the 81 provinces, 145 cities and 1489 municipalities will be conferred with the 2018 SGLG marker; eligibility to the Performance Challenge Fund (PCF) to finance their local development initiatives; and an access to other programs and capacity development assistance from DILG.
LGUs which will meet the '4+1' basic assessment principle shall also be recognized through a Certificate of Merit for their efforts in keeping up with the previous overall criteria.
In 2017, 448 LGUs composed of 28 provinces, 61 cities and 359 municipalities bagged the SGLG award, a 31% increase compared to 2016's 306 passers.
The SGLG Assessment kicked off on the 3rd week of April 2018 and will run for six months until the announcement of winners on October 2018.
New, upgraded criteria
In addition to the requirements in SGLG 2017, the new and upgraded criteria in the 2018 SGLG are the following:
On Financial Administration, the most recent audit opinion is unqualified or qualified plus 30 percent of recommendations acted upon; at least 5 percent increase in average local revenue growth for the last three consecutive years (2014-2016); functional local development council; full utilization of, or completion or projects funded by the Performance Challenge Fund (2015 and 2016), if applicable; 2018 annual budget is approved within the prescribed period; and full utilization of funds for, or completion of Assistance to Municipalities projects for 2012-2015, if applicable with 85% benchmark for 2016 (for municipalities).
On Disaster Preparedness, there must be at least three plantilla PDRRMO/CDRRMO staff complement for provincial and HUC qualifiers, one plantilla for independent component cities (ICCs) and component cities (CCs) and municipalities qualifiers for research and planning, administration and training, and operations and warning; at least 50% utilization rate of the 70% component of the 2017 DRRM Fund; at least 75% of barangays have CBDRRM plans (for cities); at least 75% of barangays have info guide (for municipalities); ICS Training Level II or above for provinces/HUCs, and Basic ICS training for ICCs and CCs.
On Social Protection, city qualifiers should be 2017 Seal of Child-friendly Local Governance Awardees; at least 85% completion or utilization rate of the fund for the Local School Board Plan; at least 80% of barangays have submitted their Violence Against Women and Children (VAWC) reports (for cities and municipalities); at least 50% of provincial/city government-run hospitals are 2017 Philhealth-accredited; established Persons with Disability Affairs Office for provinces and HUCs, and designated a persons with disability affairs officer ICCs, CCs and municipalities; for cities and municipalities, full utilization of funds for, or completion of Salintubig projects for 2012-2015, if applicable with 50% benchmark for 2016.
On Peace and Order, there should be at least 75% implementation rate of planned activities, or at least 75% utilization rate of fund allocation for peace and order and public safety plan; for cities and municipalities, 100% organized and 100% trained barangay peacekeeping action teams.
On Business Friendliness and Competitiveness, there should be at least 60% completion or utilization rate of Conditional Matching Grant to Provinces for Road Repair, Rehabilitation and Improvement for 2016 (for provinces); and increase in the amount of capital investments derived from registered new businesses (for cities).
On Environmental Management, no operating and/or controlled dumpsite (for cities and municipalities).
On Tourism, Culture and the Arts, among the new sub-indicators for cultural heritage promotion and conservation are at least 75% completion or utilization rate of the budget appropriated for the conservation and preservation of cultural property for CY 2017, and documented and published narrative of history and culture.