Bongao gets Galing Pook Award for strong admin, fiscal reforms PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 13 January 2011 15:30

Despite its meager resources, Bongao town in Tawi-Tawi has been showing a relatively strong performance in governance of administrative and fiscal management.

On Tuesday, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), with the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), awarded Bongao for its innovative governance.

Bongao received a Galing Pook Award for Administrative and Fiscal Reforms, a program that has improved tax collection in the town. Coupled with capacity enhancement activities for its personnel, it tremendously improved customer services, civil application processes and financial management.

As a result of program implementation, the town's revenue increased from P42 million in 2000 to P102 million today and it has been upgraded from a 4th class to a 2nd class municipality.

"Sa tamang pag gamit ng ating pondo, hindi man ito gaano kalakihan kung nanaisin natin maramitayong magagawa (with correct use of funds, even not so big if we really want we can do a lot)," said Bongao Mayor Jasper Que.

"So that's what we have done in Bongao. From a 4th class municipality, just within nine years, we have been elevated to a 2nd class municipality. And someday we will become a city. I am just continuing what my father started and his legacy," Que said.

DILG and Galing Pook Foundation official records show that during former Mayor Albert Que's administration ensured that the day's collection would be deposited in the bank on the same day.

Also competent financial personnel were hired by Mayor Que, which later led to increase the Local Government Unit (LGU) income, and enabled it to hire more competent LGU personnel, computerize its system and standardize personnel salaries.

According to Mayor Que, "because of sound fiscal management and good governance, Bongao Municipality has managed to establish a P20 million public market, which will be officially opened within this month or next month."

He said the funds for the construction of a public market came from the 20% Development Fund of Bongao and acting ARMM Vice Governor Sahali-Generale.

At the awarding ceremonies held in one of the hotels here last Tuesday, DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo said the awarded LGUs exemplified how to best improve the systems and procedures in local governance and the delivery of services to the people.

“This is an affirmation that LGUs from ARMM are now showcasing their good governance initiatives as a result of the various reforms that the DILG has undertaken in the region,” Robredo said.

Other ARMM Galing Pook winners and their winning programs that were awarded Tuesday were the Tulay sa Kalilintad: Peace Building (Kapatagan, Lanao del Sur); Sulu Action Coordination Center (Sulu); SLAM Health Program for the Poor (Southwestern Ligwasan Alliance of Municipalities, Maguindanao); Solid Waste Management Program (Wao, Lanao del Sur); BISITA sa Barangay (Sultan Mastura, Maguindanao); Project Rendaw: Education through Community Participation (Upi, Maguindanao); Watershed Co Management Development Program (Wao, Lanao del Sur).

Each of the Galing Pook winners received a Certificate of Recognition and a check amounting to P200,000 handed over by Secretary Robredo, assisted by ARMM Regional Governor Ansaruddin Adiong and Galing Pook Foundation Executive Director Dr. Eddie Dorotan.

Last December, the said LGUs were chosen from among 41 noteworthy programs in the region. The eight towns emerged as winners in the Galing Pook Awards for the ARMM region. -- Hader Glang