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Santa Rosa receives the Seal of Good Local Governance 2014: GoodFinancial Housekeeping

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“For showcasing the principles of transparency and accountability in fiscal administration... Their exemplary practices and faithful adherence to the basic tenets of good governance is worthy of emulation by other local government units.”

These were the words inscribed on the plaque and certificate received by the City Government of Santa Rosa last April 13, 2015 as it was awarded the Seal of Good Local Governance 2014: Good Financial Housekeeping” from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

City Mayor Arlene B. Arcillas personally received the recognition from DILG Regional Director Josefina E. Castilla-Go, Provincial Director Lionel Dalope, and City Local Government Operations Officer Tirso LaviƱa. Also present were Vice Mayor Arnel DC Gomez, City Councilors Sonia Laserna, Louie Algabre, Edward Tiongco, Boy Factoriza and Lody Carta.

According to the Regional Director, the Good Financial Housekeeping means that “all the programs especially in the financial transactions are in place. Malinis po ang paggastos at pagsasagawa ng proyekto.”

The Director could not hide her admiration for the city, saying “I am so impressed with the way local governance is being done here in the City of Santa Rosa.”

She added that “We are for the promotion of good local governance. We always adhere to the principles of transparency, accountability, participation and responsiveness. At lahat ng ito ay makikita natin dito sa Lungsod ng Santa Rosa.”

Castilla-Go also shared that the City Government has been consistently recognized by the agency. Santa Rosa was first awarded with the Seal of Good Housekeeping - Bronze Level on December 13, 2011, which Mayor Arcillas personally received from the late DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo. On February 3, 2014, the City was awarded the Seal of Good Housekeeping - Silver Grade.

Good Financial Housekeeping, formerly known as the Seal of Good Housekeeping, is awarded to an LGU that exhibits compliance with accounting and auditing standards, rules and regulations. COA opinion and compliance with the Full Disclosure Policy of Local Budget and Finances, Bids and Public Offerings are part of the criteria.

In 2014, DILG scaled up the Seal of Good Housekeeping into the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG).

According to Memorandum Circular No. 2014-39, there are six components where a local government is to be assessed. To be conferred with the SGLG, an LGU must pass all three core assessment areas, namely: Good Financial Housekeeping, Disaster Preparedness, and Social Protection; and at least one essential assessment area, namely: Business-friendliness and Competitiveness, Peace and Order, or Environmental Management.

As a recipient of the Seal of Good Local Governance 2014: Good Financial Housekeeping, the City Government is given access to national program windows like the Bottom-Up Budgeting (BUB).

According to Director Castilla-Go, the City was one of the 52 LGUs in the region that received 15 million pesos for the year 2014; while for the year 2015, Santa Rosa will receive 12.5 million pesos under the BUB.

Out of the 147 LGUs in CALABARZON, 133 were recipients of the Good Financial Housekeeping.

Also part of the program was the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signing for the Millennium Development Goals - Family-Based Actions for Children and Their Environs in the Slums (MDG-FACES) between the City Government and DILG.

According to the website of DILG-Region IV-A, MDG-FACES is an innovative project in addressing the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (UN-MDGs). Started in 2008 by the Department of the Interior and Local Government – Local Government Academy (DILG-LGA), the program aims to improve the quality of life of 600 boys and girls, aged 0-17, from 40 urban poor households, in 15 slums communities nationwide.

Director Castilla-Go said that as part of the MOA, the City will receive P300,000 for the implementation of MDG-FACES. An initial amount of P60,000 was handed last April 13.

Mayor Arcillas was very pleased of the award, thanking her fellow city officials, barangay officials, department heads and employees for achieving another feat. “Kayo po ang gumawa nito, hindi po ako. Taga-represent lamang ang inyong lingkod... Kung hindi dahil sa inyo ay hindi natin makukuha ang Good Financial Housekeeping,” she said.

She also said that the new program to be implemented, the MDG-FACES, is also very welcome. “Ipinapakita nito na kahit makabago ang lungsod natin, serbisyong makatao pa rin ang ating isinasagawa,” Mayor Arcillas added, in reference to the City’s slogan “Serbisyong Makatao, Lungsod na Makabago.”

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