Secretary of the Interior and Local Government Mar Roxas has recognized seven municipalities in Region 12 for raising the bar of good governance and excellence in providing services to Mindanaoans.
Roxas and DILG regional officials have conferred the prestigious Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) award to the municipalities of Magpet, Mlang, and Tulunan in North Cotabato; Bagumbayan and Columbio in Sultan Kudarat; Sto. Nino in South Cotabato; and Kiamba in Sarangani.
In an awarding ceremony held in Koronadal City, on August 25, Roxas emphasized the importance of the LGUs in providing much-needed government services to the people especially in the grassroots level.
"LGUs are among the frontlines that provide the services to the people, and their role is very vital to uplift our fellow Filipinos from poverty especially in far-flung areas," Roxas said prior to the formal awarding of the SGLG plaques to the mayors of the seven municipalities.
The DILG Region 12 also turned over the Performance Challenge Fund checks worth P3 million to each of the seven SGLG awardees and P7 million to the provincial government of South Cotabato, which was also recognized for good governance.
"We are here to recognize you and help you implement what is right, what is true, and what is good to the people of Mindanao, because your success is the national government's success. There is no national government's success without the success of the LGUs," Roxas pointed out.
The SGLG award, also known as “Pagkilala sa Katapatan at Kahusayan ng Pamahalaang Lokal,” is given by the DILG to deserving cities and municipalities in the Philippines that qualify in the fields of peace and order, environmental management, business-friendliness, and competitiveness.
The award, which originated from the Seal of Good Housekeeping program introduced by the late DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo in 2010, aims to recognize the LGUs in their proper practice of transparency and diligence in compliance with the Anti-Red Tape Act.
The DILG launched the SGLG in January 2014 to recognize LGUs that display good governance while providing better services to the people.
Subsequently, the award also drives LGUs to encourage investment and employment through business-friendliness and competitiveness, protection of their constituents from threats to life and security, and safeguarding the integrity of the environment.

The 7.2-magnitude earthquake that jolted the province of Bohol in 2013 was undeniably one of the biggest challenges faced by Boholanos.
Despite the massive problems they faced, Boholanos still remained thankful for they never felt alone in the uphill battle of rebuilding their province, said Bohol Governor Edgardo Chatto.
"Immediately after the earthquake, the President was here, Cabinet members were here. But it was Secretary Mar Roxas who really slept in Bohol for several nights. [He was] with me. He went around the province," Chatto said as he recalled his memories of the 2013 disaster.
Under Roxas' watch, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) released the Bohol Earthquake Assistance (BEA) fund, which enabled the local government of Bohol to fast forward the rehabilitation process of the province's damaged public facilities.
A total of P2.39 billion was allocated for more than a thousand proposed repair and reconstruction projects in Bohol. Of these, 257 projects were already completed, 255 are ongoing, and 554 are being processed and reviewed by the DILG as of August 2015.
Just this year, the outgoing Secretary of the DILG inaugurated a day care center, public market, and civic center in the province.
The DILG BEA fund also allotted P23 million for the province of Cebu, which was also affected by the 2013 earthquake.
According to Chatto, who was Roxas' partner in the fulfillment of the rehabilitation efforts in Bohol, the projects supported by the BEA fund immensely helped his province recover from the 2013 earthquake, giving the Boholanos faster access to better government services.
"We're trying to make a change para maibsan ang kahirapan na naranasan noon,” said Chatto, who was in charge of keeping the reconstruction and repair projects in the province right on track.
Gov. Chatto also pointed out that the DILG Chief helped improve the province's disaster response operations, which strengthened their LGU’s role as first responder in the earthquake and other disasters.
"I was so appreciative because it gave me a lot of strength, as a leader of Bohol, to get through this enormous challenge in a short period of time," Gov. Chatto said.

OFFICIALS from both Paranaque City and Haeundae of Busan, South Korea are slated to sign a sisterhood agreement that is expected to boost and strengthen economic and cultural ties between the two cities.
Delegates from Busan lead by Mayor Baek Sun Ki will arrive in the country on September 3 (Thursday), just in time for the signing of the agreement the following day, September 4.
Mayor Edwin L. Olivarez said he is confident that the agreement would further raise the profile of Paranaque City as one of the most exciting and fastest growing cities in the country.
“This agreement between our city and Busan would surely work both ways even as we expect that this would pave the way for a greater and broader cooperation not only between our cities but hopefully for the two countries as well” Olivarez said.
The sisterhood agreement is a result of more than a year of constant coordination and exhaustive consultations between the representatives from the two cities who worked hard to see their initiatives come into fruition.
Haeundae-gu is a district in the east of Busan and is a favorite tourist destination as it offers some of the country’s most famous beaches, high-end hotels and newest luxury shops and apartments.
Under the agreement, the two cities agreed to pursue and expand cooperation on various areas among them economy, culture, sports, tourism, education and other fields “in pursuit of the best interests for both parties”.
They will also maintain an open line of communication and both parties shall appoint focal persons who would promote the programs and initiatives relative to the sisterhood agreement.
There will also be constant exchanges of invitations during the celebrations of special holidays and festivals to further enhance the cultural ties between the two cities.
Olivarez pointed out that they intend to enter into more sisterhood agreements with other foreign cities to further promote and raise Paranaque city’s image in the world stage.
“Kailangan natin ang ganitong mga kasunduan upang sa ganoon ay lalo pa nating mapalawak at mapalakas ang ating mga programa na may kaugnayan sa turismo at kalakalan” the mayor stressed.

For 30 years the local residents of Barangay Polonuling in the municipality of Tupi, South Cotabato had to rely on deep well as their primary source of water, raising the risk of water-borne diseases especially during the rainy season.
With the recent SalinTubig (Sagana at Ligtas na Tubig sa Lahat) program of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), about 150 households or about 800 to 1,000 residents in Barangay Polonuling were able to have their own faucets, conveniently providing them clean and potable water right in their homes.
Secretary of the Interior and Local Government Mar Roxas said the DILG's SalinTubig is just one of the many programs of government under Daang Matuwid, which aims to deliver basic services to many underprivileged Filipinos.
Roxas personally visited the completed SalinTubig project in Polonuling, where houses are now connected to a water reservoir that provide safe and potable water to local residents.
"Kamo ang boss namon, kamo ang naghimo sine, imo nga tagumpay sine. [Kayo ang boss namin, kayo ang gumawa nito, tagumpay ninyong lahat ito]," Roxas said, as he addressed the residents who attended the ceremonial inauguration of the water project in Polonuling.
SalinTubig is a DILG program that provides potable and safe water to waterless barangays in the entire country.
Tupi Mayor Reynaldo Tamayo Jr. said the national government is serious in helping communities like them.
"Talagang tumutulong ang gobyerno sa ating pag-angat lalo na dito sa Tupi. Natutuwa ako sa Daang Matuwid ng ating gobyerno, dahil totoo sila sa kanilang pangako. Nakapagtataka lamang na meron pa ring bumabatikos para sa sarili political agenda. Pero para sa aming residente ng South Cotabato, makikita at mararamdaman ang programang Daang Matuwid," Tamayo said.
The municipal mayor added that the government's developmental programs had been consistent in their province since 2010 under the Aquino administration.
"Dito lamang sa Tupi makikita kung gaano kalaki ang proyekto na ginawa ng ating gobyerno ng walang halong kalokohan o katiwalian—diretso talaga sa tao at sa aming kapaligiran. I will not be surprised if investors will start to put up malls, hotels, and subdivisions in our communities because we have more paved roads, new and improved drainage system, and peace and order situation is at its best," Tamayo said.

LABOR Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz has urged overseas Filipino workers to observe utmost precaution to prevent contracting the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Corona Virus infection, and spreading the same.
Baldoz issued the call after receiving reports that four OFWs in Saudi Arabia appeared to have contracted the killer virus.
“Observing health protocols must already be a way of life for our OFWs. Pandemics can surface in any part of the world, and so I ask our OFWs to take care and be always mindful of their health and well-being,” Baldoz said.
POEA Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac, upon instruction of Secretary Baldoz, has issued Advisory No. 2, Series of 2015, reiterating the preventive measures issued last year to ensure the protection of overseas Filipino workers against MERS-CoV.
“Let us diligently follow the POEA advisory. I urge OFWs, especially those in the Middle East countries, to observe the safety and protection measures,” Baldoz said.
The POEA Advisory reiterates the following health and sanitary guidelines to prevent being infected with MERS-CoV including practice of proper hand hygiene always, by washing your hands with soap or hand rubs with alcohol before and after eating.
Cover mouth and nose while sneezing or coughing. Use a facial tissue when coughing or sneezing and cover your mouth and nose with it. Dispose the tissue in a waste basket.Avoid contact with farm and domesticated animals, including camels.
And as much as possible, avoid contact with sick or infected with MERS-CoV. If you have respiratory illness, stay home and wear a surgical mask to protect your family members.

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