DILG Central News
Transparency, Accountability in Local Governance Top DILG 2010 AccomplishmentsJanuary 2, 2011
The implementation of the policy on public disclosure of the budget, finances and expenditures of local government units (LGUs) and agencies attached to the Department of Interior & Local Government (DILG), the recognition of high-performing LGUs through the Performance Challenge Fund (PCF) and the institutionalization of partnerships with civil society organizations (CSOs) topped the major accomplishments of the Department for 2010.
DILG Secretary Jesse M. Robredo said that year 2010 saw groundbreaking reforms and initiatives in local governance as the Department “introduced pioneering efforts to uphold the tenets of transparency, accountability and responsiveness in LGUs.”
“2010 was definitely a good year for the DILG as we ensured that our LGUs were able to maximize their huge powers and potentials to better serve their constituents and were made accountable as well,” Robredo said.
He said that the accomplishments of the Department were anchored on President Benigno S. Aquino III’s principles of good governance as aptly captured in the DILG slogan, “Biyaheng Pinoy: Tapat na Palakad, Bayang Maunlad.”
Anti – Corruption
In a yearend report, the DILG Secretary said that one of the novel efforts made by the Department was the issuance of a directive for the full disclosure of the budget and finances by local government units (LGUs), as well as the Department including its attached agencies, namely the National Police Commission (Napolcom), Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), Philippine Public Safety College (PPSC) and Local Government Academy (LGA).
To date, Robredo said all the attached agencies of DILG and a total of 18 provinces and 31 cities have already complied with this requirement as they have already posted their local finances in their websites and in conspicuous places in their respective localities. While for 2010, the full disclosure requirement for LGUs is directory, this will be compulsory for 2011 as per Section 90 of Republic Act 2011 or the 2011 General Appropriations Act which mandates full compliance with DILG Memorandum Circular No. 2010-83 entitled Full Disclosureof Local Budget and Finances, and Bids and Public Offering”. Complementary to this requirement is a Commission on Audit (COA) memorandum which effectively requires the same as well.
Around half a trillion pesos (IRA and locally generated funds) or a third of total government expenditures for delivery of services will be in the hands of LGUs next year.
“Disclosure will be the most concrete anti-corruption tool that will allow our citizens to engage and make their LGUs accountable,” he stressed.
According to Robredo, disclosing local financial transactions including expenditures, procurements, budget and biddings did not only enable LGUs to disclose the true financial status of their respective localities/units, but also allowed the public to provide feedback on their programs and priorities.
"This is part of our efforts to aggressively scale up interventions to elevate the practice of good governance that values transparency, accountability, participation and performance,” he said.
Internal Governance Reforms
In the same yearend report, the Department also strengthened the Regional Management Coordinating Committees and undertook the following: standardization of cost and procedures to maximize use of limited resources, including the procurement of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) resources; installation of the Assets Management System in the DILG Operating Units for an equitable distribution of equipment and supplies and ease in tracking the utilization of logistical resources; and transparency in budget processes where the Department’s Annual Budget/Fund Release, Quarterly Statement of Statement of Allotment, Obligations and Balances (SAOB), Procurement Activities, and Construction Projects are posted on the DILG website.
Furthermore, DILG has reviewed its guidelines on the procurement of PNP, BFP and BJMP equipment, supplies and materials; conduct of public bidding, preparation of purchase order and contract, as well as the procedures for the adoption and approval of the PNP procurement manual. Costs of procurement at DILG have been reduced by between to 15% to 50%.
Similarly, the Bids and Awards and Disposal Committees (BAC and DC) were reconstituted to include the participation of independent groups such as the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) and the Transparency & Accountability Network (TAN).
Empowering the Citizenry
Robredo said 2010 also paved the way for the institutionalization of partnerships with civil society organizations (CSOs) and other key sectors of the society, creating an atmosphere where CSOs can actively engage and participate in DILG and LGU programs and projects.
To achieve this end, the DILG created the CSO Partnership Coordination Office to provide technical and legal support to programs and projects by the Department in partnership with CSOs.
It also signed a memorandum of agreement for the implementation of the “Vigilance to Volunteerism: Program Intensifying People’s Engagement in Local Governance with CODE-NGO and PhilDHRRA to effectively mobilize and engage CSOs as partners in governance.
At the national level, the Department has established partnerships with several CSOs with national networks, namely: TAN; Caucus of Development Non-Governmental Organization Networks (CODE-NGO); Task Force-Participatory Local Governance; Blas F. Ople Training Institute; Visayas Forum Foundation Inc.; Association of Child Caring Agencies of the Philippines (ACCAP); and Philippine Center for Islam and Democracy (PCID); Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Samar Island Partnership for Peace and Development (SIPPAD); Institute for Solidarity in Asia (ISA); Mindanao Coalition of Development NGO Networks (MINCODE); United Philippine National Peace Task Force (UPNPTF); University of Mindanao; and Archdiocesan Commission of Prison Welfare (ACPW), among others.
Partnerships with the said organizations resulted in initiatives ranging from trafficking in persons, anti-corruption efforts, particularly the implementation of the anti-red tape program to the utilization of the Local Governance Performance Management System as a platform of performance management initiatives at the local government level.
Similarly, 56 provinces and 60 cities have forged partnerships with local CSOs purposely for the strengthening of the different aspects of local governance, including their active participation in local special bodies.
Another trailblazing initiative of the Department was the recognition of high performing LGUs using two parameters - the Local Governance Performance Management System (LGPMS) scorecard and the Seal of Good Housekeeping (SGH). LGPMS measures service delivery outcomes while the SGH measures the adherence to the principles of clean and honest governance. LGUs which measure up to both the LGPMS and SGH requirements are eligible to avail of the Performance Challenge Fund (PCF), according to Robredo.
As of December, an initial amount of P30-M was distributed to thirty (30) 4th-6th class municipalities that have successfully obtained the SGH and surpassed their LGPMS standards. For 2011, the PCF will be P500 Million. It canbe used to finance the implementation of MDG projectsand to jumpstart and sustain local economic development initiatives.
“By linking financial incentives to the LGUs’ own performance, the latter are motivated to perform better and deliver quality services to the people”, he said.
Business Friendly LGUs
Meanwhile, the Department has stepped up the implementation of Project CURE (Comprehensive Response to Eliminate Red Tape) in LGUs aimed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of LGUs in the delivery of basic goods and services through policy audit and compliance tacking of local anti-red tape initiatives.
At present, 96% or 1,647 of the 1,714 total LGUs nationwide are fully compliant with the Anti-Red Tape Law, which means they have formulated their citizen’s charters, and established their public assistance/complaint desks, one stop shops or walk-in services and courtesy lanes for pregnant women, senior citizens and persons with disabilities.
In support of the anti-red tape campaign, the DILG and the Department of Trade and Industry signed a joint memo circular for the nationwide Streamlining of Business Permits and Licensing System Reform Project to speed up the issuance of business permits and licenses from city and municipal governments in order to encourage more investors in LGUs.
As of December 2010, 154 priority LGUs have completed their streamlining operations, paving the way for these LGUs to be havens of investment.
Robredo said that the Department is now way ahead of its commitment to the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) in the area of streamlining Business Permits and Licensing System (BPLS).
“From the initial 40 LGUs that have been capacitated early this year, the Department expects close to 200 LGUs to have been capacitated by the end of 2010, making it ahead of its own target in the next two years,” he said.
At the same time, the DILG urged local chief executives to designate a local economic and investment promotion officer (LEIPO) who shall spearhead the marketing of LGUs as investment havens. A total of 19 provinces and 35 cities have already designated LEIPOs.
The Department also created a DILG Team for Public-Private Partnerships to promote this type of joint undertakings at the local level and ensure ease in the start up of investments in the different localities.
Capacity building towards poverty alleviation
The Department’s training arm, the LocalGovernmentAcademy, undertook the Newly Elected Officials Program for the newly-minted and reelected local chief executives to enable them to better perform their duties and responsibilities and improve their services to the people.
To date, a total of 749 newly-elected local chief executives have been capacitated on various modules of governance.
To strengthen efforts to dramatically reduce poverty in the country and to spur local economic development, the DILG localized its approach in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), stepped up the Community-Based Monitoring System (CBMS) and the implementation of the Local Government Support Program or LGSP LED, all of which capacitated LGUs to be more effective in monitoring and evaluating the progress of their own poverty-alleviation efforts and to track their own contributions to the attainment of the MDG targets. This is complementary to the Department’s efforts to have outcome-driven LGU programs and in line with the new focus on metrics, capacity and incentives.
At, present, 61 provinces, 46 cities, 710 municipalities, and 18,706 barangays nationwide have already implemented the CBMS, enabling these LGUs to determine the development needs and assistance of their constituents.
The DILG’s Provincial Road Management Facility (PRMF), which is a road maintenance project supported by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAid),has helped enhance the delivery of basic services to the people of seven provinces of Visayas and Mindanaoand opened up their lives for more livelihood and economic opportunities. More than the infrastructure support, the PRMF builds the institutional capacity of the LGUs to undertake road rehabilitation projects and the same time serve as an entry point for improving local governance systems and processes.
Efforts were also made to deliver affordable and quality potable water to 45 waterless municipalities nationwide through the “Enhancing Access to and Provision of Water Services with the Active Participation of the Poor” or the MDG:1919 project.
Along this line, the DILG, the Department of Health and the National Anti-Poverty Commission sealed an agreement to jointly implement President Aquino’s water and sanitation program to cover a greater number of waterless municipalities of the country in 2011.
“Through this effort, we are optimistic that by 2016, there will be no more waterless municipalities in the country,” Robredo said.
Disaster Prevention and Risk Reduction
The DILG’s mandate under the disaster risk reduction management program was tested during the onslaught of Typhoon Juan in the Cagayan Valley Region as it effectively mobilized its local disaster risk reduction councils to ensure that all disaster mitigation and prevention measures are in place.
During the year, the Department also issued calamity response protocols and associated actions in flood and landslide-prone LGUs. The protocol calls for among others the activation of all disaster command and auxiliary command centers, area-wide warning and alarm system and deployment of emergency response, rescue and medical teams in areas hit by disasters.
As part of the LGUs’ “Climate Change-Proofing,” a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was sealed by the DILG with seven provinces, two cities and 19 cities for the implementation of a project dubbed “Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction/Climate Change Adaptation to Local Government Processes.” The project, which is being implemented in partnership with World Bank, aims to capacitate LGUs in the integration of disaster mitigation and prevention programs into their local physical and developmental plans.
On the other hand, the DILG’s “Strengthening the Disaster Risk Reduction Capacity of LGUs affected by Typhoon Pharma”, which is being carried out in collaboration with the Agencia Espanola De Cooperacion Internacional (AECID), increased the typhoon-damaged communities’ capacities, readiness and resiliency in disaster response and pre-disaster mitigation measures.
As part of this project, the Department inked an agreement with the provincial government of Nueva Ecija for the implementation of a 3.5-million euros or equivalent to P204.197 million disaster risk reduction project in the five most vulnerable areas in the province.
“Through this project, we hope to increase the capacities, readiness and resiliency of these target areas in disaster response and mitigation measures and post-disaster rehabilitation works,” he said.
Good Governance in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao
To carry out its mandate of general supervision over the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) by virtue of Administrative Order 273, the Department put in place governance reforms through the conduct of continuous dialogues with ARMM officials, dismantling of private armed groups, undertaking of a performance assessment and a Special Audit covering the period January 2008 to December 2009.
As reforms were being carried out in the region, one municipality in ARMM, Datu Paglas in Maguindanao, showed excellent performance in key local governance areas, making it a recipient of the Seal of Good Housekeeping and the Performance Challenge Fund.
Highlighting good governance efforts in the region, eight municipalities in ARMM were also recognized as winners in the Galing Pook for ARMM, showcasing programs ranging from watershed development, health program to solid waste management. These are: the municipalities of Upi and Sultan Mastura in Maguindanao; Wao and Kapatagan in Lanao del Sur; provinceof Sulu; the Southwestern Ligawasan Allianceof Municipalities; and Bongao in Tawi-Tawi.
Just recently, Robredo issued a Memorandum to ARMM regional and local government officials to refrain fromabsenteeism,reminding them that such act is subject to disciplinary actions.
In his directive, he asked ARMM officials to disengage from practicing their professions or engaging in any occupation other than the exercise of their functions, and to set the example in observing the standards of personal conduct among government officials in the discharge of official duties.
Clean and honest elections
In 2010, the Department through the PNP was also instrumental in the peaceful and successful conduct of the first fully automated local and national elections in May and the barangay and SK polls in October.
The PNP together with the AFP established joint security control centers at the regional, provincial, city and municipal levels nationwide to safeguard the electoral process and uphold the will of the people. It also fielded some 110,000 police personnel to perform election duties in areas identified as election hotspots.
In line with the barangay polls, the DILG provided the Comelec with a list of 4,443 barangay officials who have exceeded the maximum term limit and are thus disqualified to run for the same post.
Similarly, more than 17,000 qualified and registered prisoners exercised their right to suffrage during the first ever detainee voting in May and also in October.
PNP fiscal reforms
To further improve police responsiveness, the DILG introduced the 15:85 fund distribution scheme where 15% goes to regional offices and 85% shall be downloaded to police provincial and field offices.
“This will significantly increase the monthly operating fund of local police stations and enable them to more effectively prevent crimes and maintain peace and order in the communities,” the DILG Secretary said.
The said fiscal reform is necessary to ensure that the PNP Field Offices will have enough resources and logistics support to efficiently and effectively discharge their mandated duty of ensuring the peace and security of the communities all over the country.
Robredo said that this new scheme brought about a marked improvement of an average of 46% in the MOOE fund allocation per police officer per month, or from P650 in June this year to P950 in December 2010. For 2011, the MOOE allocation will be increased to P1,000 per police officer per month in 2011 or a 54% increase compared to June 2010 as per Special Provision No. 8 of Republic Act 10147 or the General Appropriations Act of 2011.
He said that because of the implementation of the much needed reforms in PNP procedures and processes and the judicious use of resources, the PNP was able to generate a savings of around P396-million, part of which was provided as an additional Christmas bonus of P10,000 for cops this year.
“This amount is higher than the P7,000 bonus that the members of the PNP have been receiving since 2006,” said Robredo, explaining that P7,000 of the amount came from Malacaang, while the remaining P3,000 came from the savings of the PNP.
As the DILG pursued vigorous efforts to institute reforms in the police organization, it aggressively carried out its anti-criminality campaign resulting in the following accomplishments:
- arrest of 2,623 pushers/users, confiscation of P453.825-million worth of illegal drugs and the filing of 2,025 cases in court
- recovery of 128 motor vehicles out of 137 reportedly stolen, and 39 out of 140 motorcycles, registering a recovery efficiency of 93% and 28% respectively.
- arrest of three kidnap-for-ransom personalities during six kidnapping incidents reported, which was 14% lower than the 17 incidents recorded in 2009
- conduct of 8,349 anti-illegal gambling operations, resulting in the arrest of 3,502 persons, filing of 1,435 criminal cases and confiscation of around P2.6-million in bets
- confiscation/ recovery of 1,657 loose firearms and the arrest of 1,464 persons and filing 949 cases in courts
Holistic approach vs jueteng
To stamp out the illegal numbers game of "jueteng" in the country, the Department proposed a comprehensive three-point agenda namely: better law enforcement, strengthening of the Small Town Lottery (STL) as alternative to jueteng, and adoption of measures to keep people away from the culture of gambling.
Robredo emphasized that a more holistic approach involving the active participation of various stakeholders, particularly the local government units and the private sectors including non-government and civic organizations, must be put in place to address the socio-economic aspects of illegal gambling.
To give more teeth to the government’s anti-jueteng campaign, the “one-strike” policy of PNP Chief Director General Raul Bacalzo is now in place and is vigorously enforced.
Zero backlog on police admin cases
To speed up the resolution of pending cases against policemen, the DILG Secretary as chair of the National Police Commission (Napolcom) has started implementing the “zero backlog case” program which aims to hasten the resolution of some 2,721 pending administrative cases involving cops now being heard by the Napolcom Legal Affairs Service (LAS) and the Regional Appellate Boards (RABs).
As a result, DILG/Napolcom improved the disposition of cases by 200%, or from the previous 20 cases to 60 cases per month. By the end of January 2011, there will be a zero backlog on administrative cases against police officers with a time frame of 30 days in resolving future cases.
“In sum, through this program, we hope to achieve our objective of providing a speedy and judicious resolution of these cases,” the DILG chief said.
Public safety reforms
Faced with the dilemma of lack of firetrucks to service more areas, Robredo said he has tasked the BFP to promote and strengthen the “metro fire station concept”, wherein “lead LGU fire stations” are designated to cover the needs of adjoining LGUs. Under this program, priority allocation of scarce fire trucks will be given to LGUs which cover areas with higher risk and greater need for the said firefighting vehicles.
Relatedly, the DILG reviewed the process and unit costs of the purchase of fire trucks and equipment. “With a more transparent and open procurement process, we can acquire at least 25% more units for the same amount of funds allocated,” he said, adding that he is also looking into ways and means to fast track the bids and awards proceedings of firetrucks.
Early during his term, Robredo ordered for the immediate suspension of the practice of requiring a Fire and Life Safety Assessment Report (FALAR) prior to the issuance of a fire safety inspection certificate (FSIC) to business establishments, since this requirement is not mentioned in RA 9514.
The BJMP and BFP have also reviewed their inventory and distribution of property and equipment to rationalize the allocation of prisoner vans and fire trucks, respectively for a more effective discharge of their functions.
Moving Forward in 2011
Robredo, who is barely six months in office as DILG Chief, said that the Department fared considerably well in 2010.
“Despite the challenges that we encountered this year, we were able to come up with these modest accomplishments. Now that all systems are in place, we are confident that we will do better in the coming year, with the able support and cooperation of our partners and stakeholders,” he said.
In 2011, he said that the Department shall continue to implement programs, projects and activities that build on the platform of good governance and contribute to the attainment of the development agenda of the national government. xxx