Davao Oriental Is Region’s Sole Awardee for Good Governance

CITY OF MATI, DAVAO ORIENTAL — The province of Davao Oriental is a standout among the Davao provinces in this year’s Seal of Good Local Governance awards.

Of the five provinces in the Davao Region, only Davao Oriental has made it in this year’s SGLG awards. The Department of the Interior and Local Government says the Seal of Good Local Governance to be awarded to Davao Oriental on November 28 this month “symbolizes integrity and good performance through continuing governance reform and sustained local development. It is a progressive assessment system adopted by the Department to give distinction to remarkable local government performance across several areas.”

Joyful residents of a village visited by the Provincial Government’s Outreach Caravan show their appreciation to the Provincial Government in its efforts to reach out to people.  

The Davao Region is composed of the provinces of Compostela Valley, Davao Del Norte, Davao Del Sur, Davao Occidental and Davao Oriental. 81 provinces, 145 cities and 1,489 municipalities were vying for the awards. This year’s awardees like the province of Davao Oriental are eligible to access the Performance Challenge fund of the national government to finance local development initiatives in furtherance of national goals and strategic thrusts. LGU access to other program windows and capacity development assistance from the DILG will form part of the incentives package, subject to national policies and guidelines.

Governor Dayanghirang together with the Provincial Government’s development partners during one of the held Outreach Caravan in Davao Oriental.

In light of national government thrusts, organizational commitments, and emerging good governance frameworks, the Seal or SGLG further aligns its parameters to help meet expectations and contribute in realizing target outcomes relative to local governance. Most notably accounted for is the Philippine Development Plan to help bring about the Duterte administration’s vision of inclusive growth, high trust society, and a globally-competitive knowledge economy, following the principles of “Malasakit, Pagbabago at Patuloy na Pag-unlad.”

For 2017, the DILG raises its overall assessment criteria from “3+1” into “4+1”. Peace and Order has been added to the core areas namely, Financial Administration, Disaster Preparedness, and Social Protection. This year, a new essential area, Tourism, Culture and the Arts, is likewise introduced to measure the efforts of the Local Government Units along these concerns.

Free health services to the community

Relative to the Philippine Development Plan, the areas of Financial Administration, Social Protection, Disaster Preparedness and Cultural Preservation are aligned with the principle of “Malasakit” (enhancing the social fabric). The areas of Business Friendliness and Tourism, on the other hand, support economic growth consistent with the principle of “Pagbabago” (reducing inequality), while Peace and Order and Environmental Management are bedrock strategies for “Patuloy na Pag-unlad” (increasing growth potential).

ASSESSMENT CRITERIA

According to the DILG which published recently the list of awardees through its website, the province of Davao Oriental has passed in four core areas, namely, Financial Administration, Disaster Preparedness, Social Protection, and Peace and Order. Davao Oriental also passed in other essential areas like the Business-friendliness and Competitiveness, Environmental Protection and Tourism, Culture and the Arts.

On Financial Administration, the DILG cited the practice of accountability of the local government unit and transparency by adherence to accounting and auditing standards and compliance with the Full Disclosure Policy (Good Financial Housekeeping); sound management of resources (Financial Performance); and optimal utilization of available mechanisms and resources to support local development (Financing Development).

On Disaster Preparedness, the DILG cited the province’s proactive actions to prepare for disasters through mobilization of local disaster risk reduction management structures and systems; development and implementation of appropriate programs and plans and the use of funds provided; building competencies of concerned personnel; and ensuring operational readiness with the availability of equipage, supplies and other resources intended for early warning and response.

DILG Evaluators assess the Disaster Preparedness Core Area during the SGLG Assessment

On Social Protection, the DILG cited Davao Oriental’s actions to respond to the needs of disadvantaged sectors like women, children, senior citizens, indigenous peoples and persons with disability, urban poor, among others, by managing facilities or services that cater to their needs such as residential care facilities; providing support to basic education and accessibility features in local government buildings; enhancing means of social welfare services; providing housing; and ensuring participation of the sectors in local special bodies and in the local Sanggunian.

On Peace and Order, the DILG cited the provincial government’s efforts in maintaining peace and order with the implementation of activities and providing support mechanisms to protect constituents from threats to life and security; and ensuring drug-free communities.

On Business-friendliness and Competitiveness, the DILG cited the provincial government’s actions to bring about business and employment opportunities through systems, structures and legislation to support local economic development.

On Environmental Management, the DILG cited the provincial government’s efforts in safeguarding the integrity of the environment with initial focus on the compliance with the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.

On Tourism, Culture, and the Arts, the DILG cited the provincial government’s efforts to promote and develop the local tourism, preserve and enrich cultural heritage, and advance creativity through local support.

A dance performance of local students shows culture of the Mandaya

According to Yvette Tolentino-Sunga, DILG’s provincial director in Davao Oriental, the provincial government will be conferred with a 2017 SGLG awardee’s marker in a ceremony to be organized into four clusters – North Luzon, South Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Sunga says that a special distinction shall be given to Davao Oriental which consistently passed all assessment areas for the three periods: 2015, 2016 and 2017, as a “unique symbol or mark of outstanding achievement.” Local government units that did not qualify for the SGLG will be notified with their scorecards, citing areas of compliance and opportunities for development, says the DILG in its memorandum circular dated March 22, 2017.

Governor Nelson L. Dayanghirang (right) and DILG Provincial Director Yvette T. Sunga during the SGLG 2016 Conferment Ceremony in Manila (FILE PHOTO)

She added that the Province of Davao Oriental has more reason to celebrate as it has the most number of municipalities and component city who passed the Seal. These are the municipalities of Baganga, Banaybanay, Cateel, Governor Generoso, Lupon, Tarragona, and the City of Mati.

However, the jubilant chief executive of Davao Oriental, Governor Nelson Dayanghirang says the SGLG award “only shows that despite the challenges of local resource limitations and long-entrenched political realities, ethical and effective governance can flourish given the right ingredients and a large measure of selfless leadership.” He says that his province is “a land of opportunity, and we have the opportunity to be a model for the rest of the country.

When he took over the reins of the provincial government in 2016, Governor Dayanghirang set the tone of his management style. He led the crafting of the province’s vision, mission, and goals as well as the province’s strategy roadmap, painting a clear picture of the quality of life that his people aim to achieve. And because the vision is very clear and the people are involved in the drafting of the agenda, his development programs that include the flagship Nagkakaisang Lingkod-Bayan ng Davao Oriental-Barangay Outreach Caravan, continue to run smoothly and change for the better is now taking place in the province. Governor Dayanghirang stressed that if the local governments could provide fast and honest service to the residents, tourists, and investors, the local economy would improve and it would translate to improved living standards for his constituents. As he continues to champion the creation of an enabling environment for his people to enjoy long, healthy and creative lives, Governor Dayanghirang stressed that “the people are the real wealth of our community.” By Ferdinand Zuasola

 

 

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