DILG-ARMM: Stronger LGUs needed for stronger ARMM
Cotabato City – “What really ails the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) is the governance aspect among our local government units (LGUs),” said regional Interior Secretary Atty. Noor Hafizullah “Kirby” M. Abdullah, referring to one of the issues raised during the ARMM budget hearings last week.
He cited non-performance, concerns about the utilization of local development funds, and gaps in appointments to permanent government positions as the most urgent issues that ail some LGUs in the ARMM.
The regional Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG-ARMM), in response to these concerns, held a round table discussion on LGU functionality last October 5, 2016, together with the Commission on Audit-ARMM (COA-ARMM), and the Civil Service Commission-ARMM (CSC-ARMM).
The DILG-ARMM’s Roadmap for Functional and Performing LGUs was reviewed and discussed during the discussion, after which the latest findings and recommendations of the regional agencies present were taken up.
The said agencies, represented by officials present in the discussion, indicated commitments in the MOU that will help them ensure that LGUs measure up to the standards set by existing legislation.
Among the relevant legislation discussed were the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007 (RA 9485) and the Local Government Code (RA 7160).
A memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed by the agencies after the discussion. It is expected to “establish strong linkage and cooperation” among the said agencies, in the hopes of empowering the LGUs which will then facilitate better delivery of social services across the region.
Agreed-upon points in the MOU include conducting regular financial and compliance audits, seeing if COA audit recommendations are complied with and CSC-approved human resource systems are implemented, and ensuring that the budget of LGUs comply with statutory obligations and the 20% development fund allotment.
It was initialed by CSC-ARMM Regional Director Leopoldo Roberto Valderosa, Jr., COA-ARMM Regional Director Atty. Bato S. Ali, Jr., and DILG-ARMM Secretary Atty. Kirby Abdullah.
Signing the said document as witnesses were Maribel Sixto-Alejo, CSC-ARMM Assistant Regional Director; Atty. Kiram K. Solaiman, COA-ARMM Service Chief of Legal Services; and Dr. Sharifa Pearlsia Dans, DILG-ARMM assistant regional secretary. (Bureau of Public Information)