Transparency a must for LGUs to qualify for ‘good housekeeping’-A A +A
Saturday, March 1, 2014
TRANSPARENCY in governance was not implemented fully in Misamis Oriental and Cagayan de Oro City resulting to their exclusion from the Department of the Interior and Local Governance-Northern Mindanao’s (DILG 10) list of ‘good’ local government units (LGUs) in 2012.
DILG regional director Rene Burdeos said among the criteria LGUs must comply with, to achieve the Seal of Good Housekeeping (SGH) is "transparency and accountability."
He said transparency means religiously following the full disclosure policy.
Burdeos furthered that to fully disclose its financial documents, the LGU has to post 14 documents online and in three conspicuous places.
The documents involved the annual budget, statement of income and expenditures, invitations to bid, abstract of bids, notice of awards, annual procurement plan, usage of the gender and development funds, and statement of receipts, among others.
He said the LGUs in the city and province in 2012 lacked the financial documents that need posting on the reason why both did not get an SGH.
With regard to accountability, Burdeos said the two LGUs, the Commission on Audit (COA) did not find any adverse findings in their financial accounts.
“There are no huge discrepancies, based on the opinion from COA, at the end of the year,” Burdeos said, referring to the accounts of both in 2012.
He said the basis for accountability is the COA annual audit report, and there must be no adverse discrepancies in their financial transactions in a year.
In DILG’s assessment in 2012, out of 84 municipalities only 49 received the SGH and out of five provinces only the province of Camiguin had achieved it.
Burdeos said out of nine cities only two qualified for the SGH award.
“Only Oroquieta and Ozamiz cities received the award,” Burdeos said.
He added that the Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental LGUs qualified for SGH last 2011, but last year they did not make it because they lack compliance on the full disclosure policy.
He said other provinces failed to comply with the full disclosure policy because their online databases failed to accommodate the numerous or heavy bidding documents.
The LGUs who received the SGH awards will receive P7 million for provinces, P3 million for cities and P1 million for municipalities.
Transparency and accountability were the main criteria for the bronze SGH award, but in order to achieve the silver SGH award an LGU needs to step up its system.
Burdeos said the bids and awards committee of an LGU must be functional, and the bids should be posted in the LGU’s website and the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPS).
He added the LGU’s frontline services are also the basis for the silver award.
Part of the frontline services is the quality of service the local civil registrars can offer—duration in getting a birth certificate, marriage certificate, among others.
“We observed the duration of getting papers and the comfort the people have while waiting for the release,” Burdeos said, adding they conducted observations along with the LGUs.
He said the purpose of the SGH is to elevate the level of governance of the LGUs into an institutionalized status.
Meanwhile, city information officer Maricel Casiño-Rivera said win or lose, ‘good housekeeping’ is always a good standard every LGU should work on.
She said the city is hoping to get an SGH this year but it will depend on the judgment of the panel and their compliance of the requirements.
“There are insufficiencies but we will overcome all of these,” said Rivera.
Rivera said what is important is that they know that there are problems.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on March 01, 2014.