CALBAYOG CITY- An orientation on seal of good local governance was conducted by the city office of the Department of the Interior and Local Government on June 3, 2014. City councilors, department heads of the City Hall, police and education personnel attended the gathering held at the conference room of the City Mayor’s Office. The orientation was in connection with DILG Memorandum Circular No.2014-39 “The 2014 Seal of Good Local Governance: Pagkilala sa Katapatan at Kahusayan ng Pamahalaang Lokal”, issued on March 24, 2014 addressed to all provincial governors, city and municipal mayors, and DILG regional directors. Acting Mayor Diego Rivera personally welcomed the participants in the said orientation on SGLG which is actually a scaling up of 2010’s Seal of Good Housekeeping (SGH). To recall, from its pilot run in 2010, the SGH has promoted transparency and accountability in local government operations, which assesses financial housekeeping through compliance with the Commission on Audit accounting and auditing standards and the Department’s Full Disclosure Policy. In 2012, 84% of provinces, cities and municipalities were conferred with the SGH. This indicates readiness of local governments to take on greater challenges. This year 2014, the DILG rises up the bar from SGH to the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG). This SGLG does not only recognize the good performance on financial housekeeping of provincial, city and municipal governments, but also on other areas that directly benefit the people, namely: on disaster preparedness, social protection (for vulnerable sectors like women, children, senior citizens, indigenous peoples and persons with disability, among others), business-friendliness and competitiveness, peace and order (in the community), and environmental management. In the orientation proper, DILG city director Zino Llarinas explained that for a local government to be conferred with SGLG, the so-called “3 plus 1” principle applies. This means that an LGU must pass only the three core assessment areas (good financial housekeeping; disaster preparedness and social protection) as these are mandatory, and at least one essential assessment area (elective from the three other areas – business-friendliness and competitiveness, peace and order, and environmental management). Llarinas said that if the city government qualifies to be conferred with the seal scheduled to be announced on October, Calbayog will be eligible to access the Performance Challenge Fund (PCF) which is a support fund to finance local development initiatives in furtherance of national goals and strategic thrusts; and more incentives package of program windows and capacity development assistance from the Department. (AIMEE CATALAN/PR)