Tuesday, December 6, 2011
BALER, Aurora, December 7, 2011-GBAC (short for Gov. Bellaflor Angara-Castillo) added another feather in her cap and made the province proud again by bringing home the proverbial bacon: the “Seal of Good Housekeeping” award of the Department of the Interior and Local Governments (DILG). The selection of the province as an awardee was announced by no less than DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo during the annual fiesta celebration in Dipaculao recently.
The good-natured secretary said the Aurora provincial government, led by Governor Angara-Castillo, has satisfactorily and publicly disclosed its fiscal management and operations and complied with auditing procedures.
In case you don’t know, the seal is given to local government units that have excelled in the areas of planning, budgeting, revenue mobilization, financial management and budget execution, procurement and resource mobilization. The LGU must be able to pick out items in its annual investment plans that support national development priorities aimed at reducing poverty, spur economic development, and help conserve the environment through programs in ecological waste management or disaster risk reduction among others.
We never had the slightest doubt in our mind that Aurora, led by Angara-Castillo is more than deserving of the award. It is a fitting tribute to the efforts of her administration to promote good governance anchored on her development agenda codenamed HEALTH which stands for health, education, agriculture, livelihood, trade and tourism development and human resource development.
In fact, way back in 2004 when she first became governor, she was perhaps the first governor who mouthed the words “good governance” as her development agenda. And she exemplified this by promoting transparency and accountability of public officials and employees.
But while Angara-Castillo is every bit deserving, we are a little bit concerned with how frequent the award is being won by practically majority of LGUs all over the country. In the province, for example, all eight LGUs won the award and in neighboring Nueva Ecija, 27 of 32 LGUs got the award. Others are Bacolod, Negros, Camiguin province, Laoag City, Cebu City, Amlan, Bohol, Bulacan province, Ilo-ilo and many more.
With all due respect to you Secretary, when an award being given is being won by majority of aspirants, I have the feeling that the value of such an award is downgraded and it becomes ordinary to say the least. The award should be distinct, it should give honor, pride and an air of exclusivity on the part of the winner. Kung masyadong maraming nananalo ng award ng DILG, para mong sinabi na give-away lang yan.
We are not saying that those LGUs which won are less deserving. But when there are so many winners, Secretary Robredo and the DILG must raise the bar so that only a few will stand out. Yes only a few because if there are so many winners, you practically put the non-winners in a bad light.
Para bagang sinabi mo na ang mga hindi nanalo ay hindi anak ng Diyos!
What I am saying is that make the criteria very difficult to achieve because the harder the hurdle is to overcome, the sweetness is the victory.
Otherwise, people might say you are just trying to please the LGUs. O namumulitika ka lang Secretary.
Maybe all the standards set by the DILG have been met by the participating LGUs; hence, they were all given due recognition to their endeavor. It is only on matter of naming it, outstanding or recognition.(Jason de Asis)
MANILA, December 6, 2011— For a mission that has spanned many years as documentary journalist, an Oblate missionary has been named as the Ninoy and Cory Aquino Fellowship Awardee for Journalism for 2011.
Fr. Eduardo Vasquez, Jr, was given recognition on Tuesday by the United States Embassy and the Ninoy and Cory Aquino Foundation held at the Manila Peninsula Hotel in Makati City.
No less than President Benigno Aquino III handed the recognition to the Catholic missionary during the awarding ceremonies on Monday for his accomplishment and potential in journalism.
The priest was recognized for his social work and public service through the media group, i-Watch.
Deeply convinced in the power of media as a tool for evangelization and social transformation, he founded the organization in Upi, Maguindanao in 2006.
The i-Watch is a video documentary outfit of the Congregation of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI) and manned by people from the grassroots that were trained by Vasquez in the field of video productions.
Through the years, it has produced documentaries on socio-political, cultural and environmental issues particularly in Southern Philippines.
The nature of Vasquez’s works has put his life at risk many times especially when he was assigned in the war zones of Pikit, North Cotabato and Datu Piang, Maguindanao from 2008 to 2010, where he documented silently the plight of the displaced civilians and other victims of human rights abuses.
Aside from Vasquez, Lt. Roberto Beltran, operations and administration office at the naval forces in Poro Point, San Fernando City, La Union, was named as this year’s Aquino Fellow for Public Service.
Established in 1998 by the US Embassy in Manila as the Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. Fellowships for Professional Development, it was renamed in 2009 the Ninoy and Cory Aquino Fellowships for Professional Development to commemorate President Aquino’s significant contribution to the strengthening of Philippine democratic institutions.
The Aquino fellows will travel to the United States on a three to four-week professional exchange program through the US Embassy’s International Visitor Program. [CBCPNews]
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