Sealing LGUs for good
Everything is up for a “prize” now, or so it seems, this as far as the Philippine government is concerned. Last Monday, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Jesse Robredo has launched here in Eastern Visyas the “seal of disaster preparedness” to provide incentives to performing towns and provinces throughout the country in terms of their disaster preparedness and management.
Accordingly the award is in response to climate change and other environmental changes which have contributed to the increasing frequency and impact of calamities, bringing intense miseries to the people in the country. The Secretary also said that this initiative will help mitigate ill-preparedness among local government units, as the country has also learned the incidents in the aftermath of Typhon Sendong and the landslide in Pantukan, Compostela Valley, among others.
On his Memorandum Circular No. 2012-79, Robredo said it is incumbent upon local governments to scale up performance in terms of their disaster preparedness. Robredo then expressed his hope that this recent nationwide initiative will instill “good governance” to local leaders and develop their commitment to draft and implement Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) plans in their respective localities, also enjoining them that the same “standards” should be felt by the community.
The Secretary added that with this incentive, local government units will “ensure” the creation of disaster management offices, at the same time enlighten respective officials and constituents on roles and issues regarding disaster preparedness. Also DILG discussed the recent modification regarding utilization of the local disaster risk reduction and management fund, allowing LGUs to the flexibility to increase funding even beyond 5% of their internal revenue allotment to ensure procurement of basic “rescue and response” equipment, like for early warning systems and heavy equipment.
The criteria in the selection of deserving LGUS include their leadership structure, guide to action, disaster preparedness, partnership, innovation and volunteerism, search and rescue, and evacuation center management, among others. Robredo, being also the vice chair of the National DRRM Council for Disaster Preparedness, said the seal of disaster preparedness underscored the need for local governments to be both “mahusay at matapat (effective and honest),” with the support of the media, civic organizations and regional officials. During the event, participating local officials also submitted themselves in a pledge of commitment on disaster preparedness and climate change adaptation.
Robredo also distributed checks to seven municipalities who were awarded in the second round of the seal of good housekeeping last 2011. We’ve learned that this another initiative spearheaded by Robredo under the banner of Pres. Noynoy Aquino’s “corruption-free Philippines” annually recognized local government units which are doing well in fiscal management, to include its sound budgeting, procurement, and expenditures, not to mention their updated comprehensive development plan and annual investment plan. Local government units who win the awards are expected to have a transparent and full disclosure of their public funds to their respective constituents, this to help minimize corruption in their offices.
For this corner, the advent of incentives and awards to performing local government units not only promotes good governance but also provides a guaranteed indicator that its local leaders deserve another win during election time. (Comments at email@example.com)
By: Ronald Reyes
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