Unceasing in its efforts to accelerate growth and development at the local level, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is set to unveil a new program which seeks to recognize good governance performance and encourage the alignment of local development initiatives with the development thrusts of the Aquino administration.
Dubbed the Performance Challenge Fund or PCF, the program aims to stimulate local government units (LGUs) to put premium on performance in order to avail themselves of the financial package they could use to jumpstart and sustain local economic development initiatives for the reduction or eradication of poverty in their areas.
Robredo said the challenge fund is part of the P86.9 billion DILG proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2011 which has been submitted to Congress for deliberation and approval.
“By linking financial incentives to the LGUs’ own performance, the latter are motivated to perform better and deliver quality services to the people. And with the alignment of local initiatives with the national government thrusts, the stability, fluidity and continuity of pro-people, pro-poor and development-oriented programs are also assured in our communities”, Robredo said.
Robredo explained that provincial governments will play a very key role under the program, especially in determining local investment projects and ensuring the attainment of provincial development goals in cooperation with their counterpart LGUs.
To avail themselves of the Fund, LGUs need to exhibit strong performance in the governance areas of planning, fiscal management, transparency and accountability and valuing performance monitoring. Their performance in the said areas would then make them eligible to secure the so-called Seal of Good Housekeeping which determines if they are indeed qualified for the financial package provided under the program. Furthermore, aspiring LGUs should not have a “no adverse” report from the Commission on Audit (COA), meaning they have complied with all the auditing requirements of the Commission.
The Fund shall be used for the implementation of priority projects of LGUs aligned to the National Government priorities in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, as well as maintain core road network to boost tourism and local economic development and comply with the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010 and Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.
He said the project shall be administered by a Fund Management Board with the DILG as lead agency, and with the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Department of Finance (DOF), National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), League(s) of LGUs, and an NGO partner as members.
“Through the PCF, we are opening the window for our LGUs to manifest their competitive spirit and high-octane performance so that, hand in hand with us in the national government, we can ensure that economic development sets in at the local level to help eradicate or dramatically reduce poverty incidence throughout the country”, Robredo emphasized. ###