Press Release
September 17, 2018

Senate backs bill on Seal of Good Governance for LGUs

The Senate approved today on third and final reading a bill seeking to institutionalize the awarding of the Seal of Good Local Governance Program (SGLG) to push more provinces, cities and municipalities to operate with more efficiency, effectivity and accountability.

Senate Bill 1843 was sponsored by Senator Sonny Angara, chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Government, and co-sponsored by Senator Sherwin Gatchalian. The measure was passed with 19 affirmative votes, no negative vote and zero abstention.

Angara said the bill sought to put into law the Seal of Good Governance program under the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), to encourage local government units (LGUs) to "operate more efficiently, more effectively and with more transparency and accountability."

"This program should be enshrined as law of the land, for we believe that there must always be a policy that recognizes and rewards good governance, especially when it is accomplished by our provinces, cities, municipalities and barangays," he said.

Under the current program, Angara said a "Seal of Good Housekeeping (SGH)" was awarded to local government units which successfully implemented "good financial housekeeping and full disclosure policies" in accordance with Commission on Audit (COA) rules and regulations.

Successful LGUs who earned the seal were given cash grants (P1 million for towns, P3 million for cities and P7 million for provinces) from the DILG's Performance Challenge Fund. The seal also served as a requirement for LGUs before they can avail of loans from Landbank, or benefit from certain government projects.

"The program not only ensured that LGUs will observe proper financial management processes but also funded many, vital local projects," Angara said.

Under the bill, the criteria for the award of the new "Seal of Good Local Governance" will be expanded from "good financial administration" to also cover 1) health, 2) Disaster Preparedness, 3) Social Protection, 4) Peace and Order, 5) Business-Friendliness and Competitiveness, 6) Environmental Protection, 7) Tourism, Culture and the Arts, and 8) Education.

Angara said LGUs must now pass the minimum requirements for all the stated criteria for them to qualify for the "Seal of Good Local Governance."

Angara said a new SGLG Incentives Fund worth P1 billion would also be created to fund the cash grants to be given to SGLG awardees. The amount of cash grants would be determined by the Council on Good Governance, a new inter-agency body.

The program, he said, would also be extended to qualifying barangays, which could earn the seal under a set of criteria different from that followed by other LGUs.

"More and more LGUs are given the SGLG award, which means that more LGUs are improving their services to the public. Thus it is only timely that we pass this bill and strengthen the SGLG program," Angara said. (JDC).

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