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DILG says new law to improve governance

PhilStar Global logo PhilStar Global 7/21/2019 Emmanuel Tupas
a close up of a man: DILG says new law to improve governance © DILG FB Page DILG says new law to improve governance

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said it was expecting improvement in the delivery of services in local government units (LGUs) with the signing of Republic Act 11292 or the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) Act.

“The DILG is grateful that the SGLG program, which is only in its fifth year, is now part of the law of the land. It is an affirmation of the effectiveness of the program in propelling good governance of LGUs,” Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said in a statement.

President Duterte signed the SGLG Act into law on April 12 but it was only released on Tuesday. The law, derived from the SGLG program, offers incentives for LGUs that have demonstrated good governance.

Under the new law, the performance of provinces, cities and municipalities will be reviewed in the key areas of good fiscal or financial administration or financial sustainability.

These were disaster preparedness, health compliance and responsiveness; social protection and sensitivity program; programs for sustainable education; business friendliness and competitiveness; safety, peace and order; tourism, heritage development, culture and arts; environmental management, and youth development.

“With the enactment of this law, the SGLG program is now institutionalized and is assured of continuous funding from the government,” Año said.

Under the bill, the SGLG Fund shall be created as a special account under the General Appropriations Act. It shall only be utilized to pay out the incentives granted to LGUs that qualify for the SGLG.

In 2018, 17 provinces, 39 cities and 207 municipalities that bagged the award were each conferred P7 million , P5.1 million and P3.2 million respectively as performance challenge funds (PCF) for local development projects.

The measure institutionalizes the SGLG program through the creation of a Council of Good Local Governance––composed of nine government agencies and representatives from basic sectors, with the DILG acting as chair.

The members of the council include the Department of Budget and Management, Department of Finance, Department of Health, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Education, Department of Tourism, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, National Economic and Development Authority, Office of Civil Defense.

“The establishment of the council demonstrates the whole-of-government approach in ensuring that the national government works hand in hand with the local governments and members of civil society in practicing good governance on the local level,” Año said.

Año said “incentivizing” good governance will nudge LGUs to improve their services.

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