LED by Jose Panganiban, the 11 towns of Camarines Norte have received the “Seal of Good Housekeeping” from the Department of Interior and Local Government that would see them a windfall of funding assistance.
The towns of Camarines Norte were among the 79 local government units (LGUs) that qualified out of the 120 in Bicol region, according to DILG Regional Director Blandino Maceda.
He said Jose Panganiban and the rest of the named LGUS were selected after a “thorough evaluation conducted by a team of representatives from government and private sectors.
“The primary qualifications were transparency and accountability, especially on fiscal matters under the government’s full disclosure policy,” Maceda said.
Maceda said that DILG is currently carrying out the Local Government Support Fund (LGSF), Performance Challenge Fund (PCF) and the “Gawad Pamana ng Lahi Award” which carry cash incentives for those qualified.
He said the programs all aim to “improve the sense of accountability among local officials as a way of improving fiscal administration in particular and local governance in general”.
Maceda said the DILG hopes that through these programs, local governments will improve their performance as well as delivery of services to qualify them to the special funds to be granted to those who show good governance.
He said that the PCF is a counter-funding program which grants up to P1 million for municipalities, P2 million for cities and P7 million for provinces for provinces to be utilized to fund high-impact capital investment projects.
The LGSF is an augmentation fund meant to cushion the impact of the reduction of internal revenue allotment while the Pamana ng Lahi Award gives cash incentives to LGUs which topped in every region.
Under the LGSF scheme, the following received cash incentives: Albay – P20 million; Camarines Norte – P10 million; Catanduanes P5 million; Masbate – P15 million and Sorsogon – P15 million.
Meanwhile the cities of Naga, Iriga, Legazpi, Tabaco and Masbate each received P20 million while Ligao City received P25 million.
Camarines Sur failed to make it to the list of qualifiers.
The Commission on Audit’s website revealed that Camarines Sur annual budget funding for year 2010 were “full of irregularities”involving hundreds of millions of pesos mostly from the operations of the tourist destinations owned and operated by the provincial government.
Jose Panganiban, along with the rest of the 79 LGUs in Bicol region, each received varying amounts under the LGSF.
The other Camarines Norte towns that benefited are Capalonga, Mercedes, Paracale, Sta Elena, Basud, Daet, Labo, San Lorenzo Ruiz, San Vicente and Talisay.
Maceda said the projects for which the funds would be used should be among the priority projects of the national government like those under the Millennium Development Goals, the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act, Solid Waste Management and other capital expenditure projects.