LEGAZPI CITY, June 25 (PNA) –- A fifth class municipality in the island province of Catanduanes bested all other towns in Bicol under the same classification in revenue generation to become this year’s latest recipient of the Seal of Good Housekeeping award from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
Recipient of the award was the municipal government of Baras, Catanduanes, a poor town run by an efficient local administration credited for generating a revenue last year of P1.31 million to post a 296 percent collection efficiency over its P442,000 target for the year.
It was the second Seal of Good Housekeeping award received by the municipality in two consecutive years as in 2011, it also ranked first region- wide in revenue collections for 2010 by generating P697,000 over its P358,000 goal representing a collection efficiency rating of 195 percent.
Both awards were personally handed on by DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo to town mayor Chito Chi who, in the 2012 awarding ceremonies at the agency’s regional office here over the weekend, said his administration’s accomplishments that won for the municipality the honors were product of cooperation between the local government and its constituents.
He expressed gratitude to his fellow workers in the local government for working exemplarily hard for the delivery of better service to their people.
The Municipality of Baras, composed of 12,243 population based on the 2010 count made by the National Census and Statistics (NSO), is one of the 11 municipalities comprising the island province of Catanduanes.
It is located some 50 kilometers southeast of Virac, the provincial capital and bounded around its southern-northern-western arc by the municipalities of Bato, Gigmoto and San Miguel, and by Kaladapan Bay and Philippine Sea on the east.
Once called “Badas” during the early Spanish colonization, Chi said some elders recall that Baras, centuries back, was once a progressive fishing locality located over a small mountain projecting towards the sea on the western side of the Bay.
“We remain today as a major fishing town that produces at least 30 percent of the total fishery yield of the province that are either exported out of Catanduanes or consumed locally. Majority of our businessmen are engaged in fish trading and they are our key taxpayers,” the mayor added.
The municipality is also noted for its “badas”, a sturdy kind of bamboo abundantly growing on its mountain ranges and used as raw materials for handicrafts being exported worldwide. This plant made the place be called “cabadasan” that when hispanized by Spanish colonizers gave the town its name now.
The Seal of Good Housekeeping award being given by the DILG annually is a recognition of local governments that perform exceptionally well in planning, budgeting, revenue mobilization, financial management, budget execution, procurement and resource mobilization.
To pass the test and qualify in the Award, an LGU must score high in these areas wherein good planning requires updated and approved Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP), Comprehensive Development Plan, Annual Investment Plan and Executive-Legislative Agenda.
In sound fiscal management, an acceptable audit report by the Commission on Audit (COA), approved annual budget compliant to legal and statutory requirement, 50 percent or less cost to collect revenues to total local revenues, growth in local revenues and updated Schedule of Market Values and Revenue Code are required.
The field of transparency and accountability is shown by the functionality of local special bodies, transparency of the procurement process, compliance to the Anti-Red Tape Law and full disclosure of local budget and finances and bids and public offerings through posting and tri-media advertisement.
The fourth and last criterion, valuing of performance monitoring refers to the performance monitoring tool or scorecard system being used, published state of local governance report, state of development report, financial report and awards received for exemplary performance.
Recipients of the award, according to DILG regional director for Bicol Blandino Maceda are also entitled to financial aid through the Local Government Support Fund and the money goes to projects that are in line with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction Management Act of 2010.
During the awarding rites, Robredo said governance is not a one-way process as it entails interaction between the local government and its constituents in identifying problems and applying solutions.
“Governance works best when there is synergy between the constituents and public officials. The Seal of Good Housekeeping is an effective way of ensuring that a local government performs at its best for the people it serves,” he added. (PNA) FPV/LQ/DOC/cbd/mec