MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno S. Aquino III on Thursday urged Local Government Units (LGUs) to be active partners of the administration in delivering basic services to the poorest of the poor.
In a speech at the 17th Galing Pook Awards and the 2nd awarding of Good Housekeeping Seal and Performance Challenge Fund (PCF) at Malacanang’s Rizal Hall, the President asked the LGUs to take care of transporting or providing the fares of the recipients of the Conditional Cash Transfer program and give them access to health services available under the expanded Philhealth program. “The national government can not reach all of them,” he stressed.
He said the PCF (of P1 million for each awardee) is not intended as a competition among LGUs but to reward them for helping the government attain the Millennium Development Goals of reducing poverty and hunger and improving the opportunities for poor households to rise above their current conditions.
The President cited the big role that LGUs play in reducing poverty, hunger and other social maladies, which is why the administration is bolstering the cooperation and partnership between local and national government agencies. He said the PCF is aimed at ensuring that LGUs will perform their governance mandates with full transparency and without violating any national government auditing regulations, in the process ensuring that all funds go only to where they were intended.
The President said the CCT, which has a budget this year of P21 billion will cover 2.3 million by the end of the year and must be expanded to over 4 million, the actual number of the poorest of the poor households that live in dire poverty and without access to healthcare services.
The government will also pay the premiums for the Philhealth coverage of poor Filipino households so that they, too, can have access to medical care and health services particularly those covered by the national households census. Philhealth itself has volunteered to shoulder half of the premiums needed to cover the poorest households.
The President said he hopes the winners of the 17th Galing Pook Awards and the 1st GP Awards in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao will serve as a shining example for other LGUs to follow. He saluted the awardees and thanked them for giving meaning to the government’s goals, visions and aspirations for the people.
The President said more than 200 LGUs have already been given by the annual search for Galing Pook Awards recognition for their significant contribution in good governance, their social service programs, including their efforts towards promoting peace and development in their respective areas.
He urged the LGUs to continue supporting the administration’s goals and visions to liberate the majority of Filipinos from the clutches of poverty and in bringing government closer to them by way of services.
Among the Galing Pook awardees were: Barangay San Antonio in Pasig and Pasig City itself for its environmental projects; Barangay Tangos in Baliwag, Bulacan; Sta. Cruz in Laguna; Bingawan, Iloilo; Cagwait in Surigao del Sur; Dumingag in Zamboanga del Sur and the provinces of Misamis Oriental, Surigao del Sur and Zamboanga del Norte.
Similarly, 7 LGUs representing 8 programs in ARMM were honored in the first Gintong Pook in ARMM. They were: Kapatagan in Lanao del Sur; Sulu Province; Southwestern Ligawasan Alliance of Municipalities; Wao Lanao del Sur; Sultan Mastura in Maguindanao; Bongao, Tawi Tawi and Upi in Maguindanao.
The Seal of Good Housekeeping is given by the Department of Interior and Local Government to LGUs with good governance performance in internal housekeeping particularly in the areas of good planning, sound fiscal
management, transparency and accountability and valuing of performance monitoring. The awardees were also given P1 million each under the PCF.
The Good Housekeeping awardees were: Alilem, Ilocos Sur; Quezon in Isabela; Saguday in Quirino province; Mataasnakahoy in Batangas; Camaligan in Camarines Sur; Banaue in Ifugao; Lagawe in Ifugao; Amlan Negros Oriental; Maribojoc in Bohol; Kawayan in Biliran; Calamba in Misamis Occidental; Dujali in Davao del Norte; Cagwait in Surigao del Sur; Carrascal in Surigao del Sur and San Jose in Dinagat Islands.
Source: President.gov.ph website