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Dilg Leading the Renaissance of Good Local Governance

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In the Philippines, the pervasiveness of corruption in government institutions, system procedures, culture and leadership renders the need for a holistic, multi-dimensional and multi-disciplinary answer. From a public administration and governance standpoint, addressing the problem of corruption requires the expansion of targets of reform, going beyond the enactment of new laws and of the creation of new bodies. Hence, the Philippine government opted to create through the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) the programs and policies in fostering good local governance as well as peace and order in the country. The Seal of Good Housekeeping (SGH) and the Performance Challenge Fund (PCF) has motivated the LGU to exhibit excellent performance in internal housekeeping. According to Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856-1917) that “workers are motivated to do well by giving them rewards” thus, the Department’s program resulted to a positive retort.

However, the predicament of graft and corruption in ARMM necessitates proper and thorough interventions by the Department. The Philippine harbored 1.4 million informal settler households in 2000, encompassing some 8.4 million people (National Housing Authority cited in Yabut 2005, Webster, Corpuz and Pablo 2002,7). By any means how can the LG alleviate their status of living if relocation sites happened to be secluded from their source of income? Change of residency, entails changing the source of revenue. In so far as the Philippine politico-administrative system is concerned, comprehensive anti-corruption structures, processes and institutions already exist. Over 40 anti-corruption laws and policies have been passed with major laws including the Revised Penal Code, Article XI of the 1987 Philippines Constitution and RA 3019 OR THE Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practice Act, and RA 6713, the Ethics and Accountability Act.

There are also the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007 (ARTA ) (RA 9485) and the Government Procurement Act (RA 9184) to redefine procedures in government purchasing, and to enhance transparency, competitiveness and public accountability in government procurement. Similarly, many anti-corruption bodies and inter-agencies have been organized and constituted through the years but nothing happened, including the Full Disclosure Policy with which the DILG is now working out. To combat against graft and corruption, one of the most challenging imperatives on good governance is reforming the behaviors and mindsets of the people which would be best started in upgrading educational systems. “The citizen can bring our political and governmental institutions back to life, make them responsive and accountable, and keep them honest. No one else can.” – John W. Gardner (US Secretary /of Health and Education, 1965-1968)

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