Showcase of best practices marks LG Code's 18th year
Iloilo City (22 October) -- The 1991 Local government Code marks its 18th year with a showcase of best practices in local governance in Western Visayas.
The five EXCELL Awardees that presented their experiences during the program held October 22, included areas in Administrative Governance for the Negros Provincial Government, by Ms. Lina Sanogal, PPDO; Social Services by Mayor Eugenio Jose Lacson of San Carlos City; Economic Development, by Mayor Christine Garin, Guimbal, Iloilo; Environmental Management, by Mayor Julieta Flores, Miag-ao, Iloilo, and Local legislation, by Vice Mayor Delia Anacan, Kabankalan, Negros Occidental.
Dir. Marivel Sacendoncillo of the Local Government Academy said in her keynote address that there are gains in the implementation of the Local government code (LGC) in the last 18 years as exemplified by these best practices.
Sacendoncillo said that despite the fact that the gains are encouraging, the LGUs still face major economic, social, environmental and disaster risk management and political challenges, hence efforts should be stepped up.
She identified the political challenges particularly as the lack of program continuity and the persistent preference of majority of local chief executives for infrastructures instead of social services, where they should maintain a balance of this to be more responsive.
She also said that there are still political bickering between many LCEs and legislators when they should be going beyond personal and political interests for the welfare of their constituents.
She further said that what has not been effectively realized in many LGUs is the genuine and real participation of civil society organizations, non-government organizations in the decision making processes in local governance, as their representations are often personally chosen by the local chief executives.
Sacendoncillo said that the areas for reform which local governance must undergo should be a review of relationships between national and local government units from the angles of development and supervision.
Development, Sacendoncillo said, must reckon with performance audit on the performance of the LGUs, where the weaker ones must be strengthened according to its needs and where the national government can complement the different capacities of particular LGUs.
Supervision, according to her, should apply the "carrot and stick" principle when necessary, to keep non-performing LGUs on their toes to keep up.
Capping the observance of the 18th anniversary of the LGC was the launching of the Codification Manual developed with the GTZ and the Urban and Regional Planning Learning Modules developed with the Canadian Urban Institute. (PIA6/ESS) [top]