By John Samuel Yap
The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) of Region IV-A granted the Municipal Government of Los Baños a Seal of Good Financial Housekeeping (SGFH) award last April 15. The award was given to the local government unit (LGU) for performing well in terms of financial transparency, including the disclosure of budgetary information, and compliance with national auditing standards.
According to Lolita M. Leviste, Head of the Office of the Municipal Accountant, the award shows that the LGU has been transparent in all its financial transactions.
“We are not corrupt, we are transparent. We are spending everything for the good,” she added.
Leviste cited that they are procuring items through the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPS) in accordance to the Government Procurement Reform Act.
This system is an electronic portal where procurement transactions are done online to improve government transparency, as it is accessible for both government agencies and stakeholders. She further stated that the LGU’s budget is spent in regulation with the standards of Commission on Audit (COA).
Pursuant to DILG Memorandum Circular No. 2010-83, Leviste also said that the municipality’s financial records are readily available to the public, citing the installation of Full Disclosure Boards in three publicly accessible areas in town.
These transparency platforms include the annual budget, annual procurement plan, statement of receipts and expenditures, report on the utilization of 20% development fund, bid results on civil works, goods, and services, among others.
SFGH is one of the six prerequisite components in attaining the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) award. According to the Open Government Partnership, the core areas include the disaster-preparedness and social protection, while its essential components composed of business friendliness and competitiveness, peace and order, and environmental management.
Los Baños is one of the 15 municipalities in Laguna that passed the good financial housekeeping standards this year. This is not the first time for the municipality to receive such recognition after receiving the same award two years ago.