SORSOGON CITY, March 23 (PIA) – On November 14, 2011, Department of Interior and Local Government’s (DILG) Assistant Secretary Rolando M. Acosta issued a memorandum to each and every DILG Regional Director (Regions 1 to 8, CAR and NCR) and to ARMM Regional Secretary Haroun l-Rashid Lucman Jr. on the subject of the Seal of Good Housekeeping’s (SGH) third round of assessment and validation for additional potential recipients, which was conducted until November 30 of the same year, at one with the Unnumbered Memorandum signed by Undersecretary Austere A. Panadero, dated November 9, 2011, referred to as Passing the Seal of Good Housekeeping for Local Governments. This was to give chance to the provinces, cities, and municipalities which fell short to act in accordance with the information requirements of the Seal.
As said by Assistant Secretary Acosta in his memo, the information requirements used in the first and second rounds were similarly appropriate for the third round, specifically: 1.compliance to the full disclosure policy in either one of the following modalities of posting: set A – in all modes (conspicuous place within public building, print media, website); set B – either in website and conspicuous place within public buildings, or in website and print media; set C – in conspicuous place within public building; or set D – in print media and conspicuous place within public buildings; and 2.the absence of disclaimer or adverse opinion rendered by the Commission on Audit on the Local Government Unit’s (LGU) financial statements for Calendar Year (CY) 2010.
The DILG memo further said that the standard assessment and validation process detailed in Memorandum Circular Number 2011-95, dated July 1, 2011, labeled as Seal of Good Housekeeping for Local Governments CY 2011 Implementation will strictly remain in the third round. The forms used for these were SGH Form 1 (Data Capture Form), SGH Form 2 (Field Validation), and SGH Form 3 (Regional Validation Form).
On April 25, 2012, then DILG Secretary Jesse M. Robredo issued Memorandum Circular Number 2012-78 to all Provincial Governors, City Mayors, Municipal Mayors, as well as Regional Directors in Regions 1 to 8, CAR and NCR which stated the commitment of the DILG, through its SGH to insistently move forward and value the brass tacks of good governance necessary in local public administration and development.
The late Secretary Robredo said in his memo that the Seal advances major performance, accountability, transparency and participation because after all, such standards are decisive in building the strategic foundation of a responsible local government system in the country.
Back in 2011, the assessment focused on sound financial management measured through the absence of an adverse or disclaimer COA petition on local financial transactions and on transparency and accountability measured through the observance of the full disclosure policy.
For CY 2012, assessment criteria are those which are prescribed under SGH Bronze and SGH Silver. Local governments that did not succeed in CY 2011 are to be assessed at the SGH Bronze level. CY 2011 recipients meanwhile are to be covered under SGH Silver. The SGH Gold might also be opened for CY 2012, Robredo’s memo further said. Starting CY 2013, provinces cities and municipalities are to be assessed using the SGH Gold Criteria
Consequently, on June 2012, the Seal of Good Housekeeping for Local Governments (SGH Bronze Level) was conferred to the Provincial Government of Sorsogon in recognition of exemplary performance in its internal housekeeping for CY 2011 in the areas of good planning, sound fiscal management, transparency and accountability, and valuing performance management. In a letter from DILG Provincial Director Ruben Esq. Baldeo, the official informed Sorsogon Governor Raul R. Lee that accordingly, the province will receive P15M from the Local Government Support Fund. Subsequently, this will be used as capital expenditure and adjoin the approved 2012 Annual Investment Plan.
Seeing that the Provincial Government of Sorsogon is a CY 2011 recipient, it makes the grade for the next level to be covered under SGH Silver which has the following criteria: 1.accountable governance – “unqualified” or “qualified COA opinion on financial transactions of the immediately preceding year; 2.transparent governance – a. full compliance to the full disclosure policy of local budget and finances, bids and public offerings as stated in DILG Memorandum Circular Number 2011-134 dated September 19, 2011 and section 84 of FY 2012 General Appropriations Act.
Required documents are those to be posted during the 1st and 2nd quarters of the current year on billboards in all publicly accessible and conspicuous places in the LGU, in its website and/or in newspaper of general circulation within its territorial jurisdiction; b. compliance to the Government Procurement Act; organized and functional Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) pursuant to the policy standards set by law; and compliance to on-line posting requirement through the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System: (i) bid notice abstract, and (ii) award notice abstract; 3.frontline service performance – excellent or good rating as indicated in the Anti-Red Tape Act report card survey of the Civil Service Commission.
Aside from Sorsogon, other provinces which made it eligible for the 2012 SGH Silver Assessment are Albay, Camarines Norte and Catanduanes.
For the municipal level, here in the Province of Sorsogon, seven LGUs qualified for the SGH Silver Assessment, namely: Matnog, Castilla, Casiguran, Juban, Santa Magdalena, Irosin and Prieto Diaz. (VAELabalan SoR-PIO/PIA Sorsogon)