BY: ROEL T. AMAZONA
CATARMAN, Northern Samar – The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has asked media to be more active in providing positive and exact information especially in coming with stories on how projects funded by the government are being implemented.
DILG Regional Director Artemio Caneja said that media has the vital role in filling the information gap.
Members of the media coming from provinces of Northern Samar, Samar and Leyte attended a media tour sponsored by their office in seven municipalities of Northern Samar, visiting projects funded by the DILG.
“We had a realization in the DILG to include media in the information dissemination about government funded projects. This is the reason why we are bringing you to the sites for you to see it with your own eyes,” Caneja said.
“This will also let contractors do their job properly. Not by putting pressure to contractors but to let them know that many are observing them,” he added.
Government-funded projects being a source of corruption and of poor quality have become a complaint even today.
The DILG-8 media tour was started by then regional director and now Undersecretary Maribel Sacendoncillo engaging media and civil society organizations to visit the agencies funded projects across the region to know how these were implemented, asked the difficulties and challenges in its implementation and talked with beneficiaries of how the projects affected their lives.
Caneja said that if during the media tour, the press and civil society organizations saw some inconsistencies in the implemented projects, this can be easily solved because those involved in the implementation are present during the project site visit.
“This can also be used to curtail corruption because the more people know, the more for DILG to get info and for our part we have to take action on this complaint on corruption,” Caneja said.
“If there is a problem, we can solve it by talking and discussing it to find way of addressing the concern. The main goal is to share information about the project implementation with funding from DILG, and this is one of way to strengthen awareness to the government projects. This is a form of information sharing,” he added.
The DILG top executive also requested media to become advocate of the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG).
“Talk with your local officials and tell them to do their job so that they pass the SGLG,” he said.
According to him, the monetary prize the come with the award is ‘insignificant’ but the SGLG seal could become a ‘bragging right’ for them.
The (SGLG) originated from the Seal of Good Housekeeping (SGH) which is the department’s response to the clamor of the people for integrity and performance in public service.
It challenges local governments to continue good governance practices while providing better public services.
SGLG awardees are given opportunity to have a share at the Performance Challenge Fund, multimillion-peso incentive for local development projects.
In Northern Samar, three LGUs passed the evaluation for SGLG award this year. These are the municipalities of San Roque, Lavezares, and Gamay.