Legazpi City gov’t welcomes DILG, OMB anti-corruption drive in LGUs

March 15, 2012 9:21 am 

By Danny O. Calleja

LEGAZPI CITY, March 14 – The joining of forces between the Department of Interior and Local Government and the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB) to strengthen anti-graft and corruption efforts in local government units (LGUs) earned a warm reception from the city government here.

“The City Government welcomes this new development as we in Legazpi subscribe to the agenda of Pres. Benigno Aquino III in stamping out both in national and local governments the culture of corruption that has been downgrading the living conditions of our people while upgrading the lifestyle of the grafters,” City mayor Geraldine Rosal on Wednesday said.

The lady local chief executive was referring to the partnership recently formed through a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the DILG and the OMB that stipulated the harmonization of programs and initiatives of both agencies relative to the prevention of corruption in all provinces, cities, municipalities and barangays.

The MOA was recently signed by DILG Sec. Jessie Robredo and Ombudsman Conchita Morales.

“Gone were the days when corrupters were glorified and the whistleblowers crucified. We in Legazpi are helping ourselves and the Aquino administration reverse the situation as we appreciate the efforts of the DILG and the OMB,” she stressed.

At last, Rosal said after several government agencies including some LGUs have been tainted with corruption during the past administration and lost its credibility, the present overseers of these agencies are starting with renewed fervor.

In a statement related to the DILG-OMB agreement which was received here over the week, Robredo said corruption is one of the challenges faced by local governments as it affects the quality of public services, investment climate, and economic development.

He said that since local governments, by nature, closely deal with people, effects of corruption are quickly felt, hence, there is a need to build a partnership with the Ombudsman and come up with preventive measures against corruption in LGUs.

“We have agreed to work together in promoting good governance in the LGUs by harmonizing our respective reform programs,” according to Robredo.

The DILG chief cited the Integrity Development Review (IDR) program of the OMB which will be matched with the Local Governance Performance Management System (LGPMS) and Seal of Good Housekeeping (SGH) programs of the DILG.

The IDR is a program that assesses sufficiency of corruption safeguards and corruption vulnerabilities within an agency’s systems including those of the LGUs, while the LGPMS is a self-assessment and development tool that helps local governmets determine their progress in various sectors.

On the other hand, the SGH is an award program recognizing performing LGUs based on pre-determined performance indicators, making them eligible for accessing the Performance Challenge Fund (PCF).

PCF is an incentive fund in recognition of good governance performance particularly in the adoption of “good housekeeping” which comes in the form of counterpart funding for Local Development Projects under the LGU Annual Investment Program (AIP). It is funded out of the 20 percent Local Development Fund (LDF) which are consistent with the national development.

The city government here was among the early recipients of the “good housekeeping” citation from the DILG and given entitlement to a P20-million allocation from the PCF.

“Through this incentive, we were able to open the window to manifest our competitive spirit and high-octane performance so that, hand in hand with the national government, ensure that economic development sets in at the local level to help eradicate or dramatically reduce poverty incidence in the locality,” Rosal said.

Robredo explained that the collaborative efforts of the DILG and OMB will come into play by using selected indicators of the IDR as indicators for the SGH and LGPMS, and in like manner, the LGPMS integrity report can be used by the IDR as guide in determining LGUs' action to scale up corruption prevention or integrity related initiatives.

To effectively carry out the agreement, he said a Joint Management Committee (JMC) and a Joint Technical Working Group (JTWG) to be composed of officials and personnel from the two agencies shall be created.

The JMC and JTWG shall provide overall guidance in the implementation of the program and ensure coordination among local government units.

The MOA likewise provides for the designation of resident Ombudsman coordinators (ROCs) in all local government units to be recommended by the local chief executive, Robredo added. (PNA)

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