ILOILO City – Local government units in Region 6 were urged and guided on how to align their provincial and municipal plans, on projects, programs and activities (PPAs) to the goals and vision of the national government.
The Western Visayas Region was the first in the Philippines to conduct the Regional Workshop on National/Regional Strategic Priorities and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Alignment on August 1-2, 2017.

The activity aimed to ensure that the plans formulated and proposed by the LGUs are coherent with the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2017-2022 or the Presidential Agenda, which was anchored on Ambisyon Natin 2040 – the national long term vision of the government.

The SDG goals, targets and indicators were likewise incorporated into the recently approved PDP.

“We don’t want to make plans just for the sake of making them. We want our plans to be anchored on the vision of the national government. We want to come up with relevant PPAs,” urged Atty. Anthony C. Nuyda, CESO III, DILG 6 Regional Director.

Ninety-four (94) participants from the local government units, DILG and other National Government Agencies participated in the two-day workshop conference held at MO2 Westown Hotel, Mandurriao, Iloilo City.

Participants from the LGUs were the members of the Executive Committee of the Provincial Government which include Provincial Governors or their representatives, selected municipal and city mayors, chairmen on appropriation of Sanggunian Panlalawigan, Planning and Development Coordinators and Civil Service Organization Representatives.

Provincial Directors, Cluster Leaders, Program Managers and SDG Focal Persons, on the other hand, comprised the participants from the DILG Region 6. Personnel from the DILG Regions 7, 8 and 9, and the National Security Council also attended the activity to observe the event proceedings and took note of the issues that arose and recommendations formed thereof.

Representatives from the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) also facilitated one of the workshops, observed the event proceedings and assisted in the overall conduct of the activity.

Ms. Jenifer G. Galorport, Division Chief of the Local Development Planning Division of the Bureau of Local Governance Development (BLGD) of the DILG Central opened the sessions with her discussion on the DILG Local Development Strengthening Initiative, with stress on how the Local Development Councils (LDCs) can help strengthen and be strengthened by the alignment process.

NEDA Undersecretary Rosemarie G. Edillon discussed the National Priority Development Strategies and Commitments (Ambisyon Natin, Philippine Development Plan and Regional Development Plan) and the SDG 2030 Framework with Lessons Learned in Implementing the MDGs.

Philippine Statistic Authority’s Dir. Wilma Guillen, Assistant National Statistician, explained the SDG Targets and Indicators: An Analysis of Data Requirements and Availability. She also identified the issues on the indicators and enumerated recommendations on how such issues can be addressed.

Several topics on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management were also discussed to serve as basis in the planning of PPAs that involve such area.

Undersecretary Vicente M. Agdamag, Deputy Director General of the National Security Council discussed the National Security Policy for the years 2017-2022 and provided the National Situationer on the Risks and Threats faced by the country. Presenting the same topic but on the regional level was Col. Pio Diñoso of the 301st Infantry Division, Philippine Army.

Also tackled was the subject “Disaster Risk Reduction and Management: Complying with the SENDAI Framework,” which was presented by Civil Defense Officer II Melissa P. Banias of the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD).
Yet another aim of the activity was to discuss the link between SDG Alignment and the Assistance to Disadvantaged Municipalities (ADM) program, which was formerly known as Bottom-Up-Budgeting (BUB). Mr. Allen Lopez, Assistant Program Manager of the ADM-BUB of DILG’s OPMO discussed “LDC Strengthening and Its Link to ADM Project Identification” – a complementary topic to that which was earlier discussed by Galorport.
The resource speakers also answered issues and concerns of the participants during the open forum scheduled.

On the second day of the activity, two workshops were conducted to allow the participants hands-on learning on the alignment process. They came up with Accomplished Plan Alignment Matrices to include the SDG Implementation Roadmap that identifies PPAs that are aligned with the SDGs and an Accomplished PDP Alignment Form which contains the list of priority PPAs in the PDIP of provinces that have been noted or marked as aligned with National and Regional Government priorities and International commitments.

USEC Edillon provided insights on and critiqued the plans the provinces came up with.

To further facilitate the streamlining of the program to the provinces in the region, workshop conferences will be conducted to all five provinces of the region in the third semester.

Guimaras will be the pilot province to be provided technical support to the alignment of Strategic Priorities and Sustainable Development Goals, via the Provincial Strategic Direction Setting Conference Workshop which will be on August 10-11, 2017 at the Raymen’s Beach Resort, Nueva Valencia, Guimaras.

The same activity will be conducted in the provinces of Capiz on August 24-25, Antique on August 29-30, Iloilo on August 30-31 and Aklan on September 4-5. (LGOO II Freda Mae L Sorsano, DILG6)

ILOILO City – Taking steps even further than it did with the streamlining of the Business Permits and Licensing System (BPLS), the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is now continuously pushing for the automation or computerization of the BPLS.

The DILG Regional Office 6 welcomed BPLS advocates from DILG Regions 7, 8 and the Negros Island Region (NIR) as it hosted the recently-concluded Coaches’ Training on the Automation of BPLS for Visayas.
The participants embarked on a 5-day learning event on July 10-14, 2017 at SmallVille21 Hotel, Mandurriao, Iloilo City, which aimed to enhance their knowledge and skills on the automation of the BPLS.

BPLS is a strategy that reduced the number of steps, application forms, signatures and number of days required to process business permits. The automation of BPLS aims to further simplify the business licensing process by enabling business owners and enthusiasts to conveniently process their business permits at any place, as long as they have access to the internet.
The coaches’ training was attended by BPLS Focal Persons from the DILG and DICT Regions 6, 7, 8 and NIR, as well as representatives from the academe, private sector, and the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP). The activity produced 40 coaches trained on the BPLS Automation and they were expected to mentor target LGUs in their region.

BPLS experts from the central offices of the Bureau of Local Government Development (BLGD) and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) travelled to the Visayas to coach the participants on the automation.

To further facilitate their learning, the participants were oriented on a wide-range of BPLS-related topics: from basic BPLS concepts to the actual use of the BPLS software. The last 3 days of the orientation were dedicated to expose the coaches to the actual BPLS software and on how to process sample business transactions. Armed with their laptops, the participants were guided on the step-by-step method of navigating the software, including its platform and features.

At the end of the activity, the participants came up with their Action Plans on how to go about the championing and implementation of the BPLS Automation in their respective regions. As coaches, they are expected to share their learnings to LGUs in their area of responsibility and encourage them to implement the automation of the BPLS program.

The DILG advocates BPLS with the hope of improving the business climate in the Visayas, said Atty. Anthony C. Nuyda, Regional Director of DILG Region 6.

“We have noted that there was a significant improvement in the business climate here in Western Visayas because of the numerous advocacies supporting ease of doing business. With the BPLS Automation, we are looking forward to attracting even more people to venture into business or maintain those they already own,” shared Nuyda. (LGOO II Freda Mae L. Sorsano, DILG6)

CULASI, Antique - The bereaved family of Sgt. Cris Yap Lorenzo of Brgy., Camansijan, Culasi, Antique was visited by DILG personnel together with Culasi Municipal Mayor Jose Jeffrey E. Lomugdang last July 4, 2017 to discuss the comprehensive social benefits program for AFP soldiers who were killed in action. Sgt. Lorenzo was killed during the military operations in Marawi last June 26, 2017.

As per memo by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) signed by former Secretary Ismael D. Sueno, the DILG and the Department of the National Defense (DND) will jointly lead in the implementation of the comprehensive social benefits program in collaboration with other implementing agencies in response to President Duterte’s recurring directives in cognizance of the dedication and service of the police and soldiers to the country.

The government will provide financial assistance of up to P500,000 and other benefits for police officers and soldiers killed or wounded in action or operations. The Comprehensive Social Benefits Program (CSBP) for Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) personnel killed or wounded in action was rolled out by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of National Defense (DND), in cooperation with the Office of the President (OP) and supporting agencies. The first tranche of P250,000 (killed in action) shall be given upon completion of required documents and the other half shall be released upon completion of required trainings or submission of livelihood project proposals.

The DILG shall organize the conduct of required trainings by the BSP, TESDA, DTI and DOLE. A home visitation will be conducted by the DSWD to the beneficiaries to assess their socio-economic condition and identify appropriate livelihood projects. The DILG will coordinate with the beneficiaries and NGAs to assist them for employment in local government units and other NGAs. Mayor Lomugdang also agreed to hire one of the siblings of Sgt. Lorenzo in the local government unit of Culasi for any available qualified position.

Those wounded in action or operation with total permanent physical disability will get P250,000. Those with major and minor injuries will get P100,000.

The beneficiaries of Sgt. Lorenzo will also get shelter assistance in a form of a housing unit grant or construction of new house in own lot or house repair; health care assistance through coverage of premiums of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth); maintenance medicines provided by the Department of Health for qualified beneficiaries of those killed or wounded; and educational assistance through annual stipends for other beneficiaries not covered by existing programs or scholarship through SUCs. (LGOO II Judy Mae Magdato, DILG6-Antique)

SAN JOSE, Antique - The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Antique recently conducted the Provincial Alliance Building at the Tuburan sang Kabuhi Training Center, San Jose, Antique held last June 29-30, 2017 to establish an alliance between the provincial government and the municipalities of the Antique and to identify specific areas of cooperation. This two-day activity became a venue to discuss development issues at the provincial level and promote collaboration among local government units by having a systematic means of identifying areas of convergence.

In attendance were the Municipal Planning and Development Coordinators (MPDCS), Municipal Local Government Operations Officers (MLGOOs), Provincial Planning and Development Coordinator (PPDC) Julie Cepe and  Municipal Mayors of nine municipalities to wit: Sebaste, Barbaza, Tibiao, Belison, San Jose, Valderrama, Tobias Fornier, Sibalom and Culasi.

“We want to see a strong alliance between the provincial government and the municipalities of Antique”, said Mayor of the Municipality of San Jose, Elmer Untaran during his opening remarks. DILG PD Victorio Pagapulan added “We hope to settle bad politics in favor of our constitutents. If we can transcend our political interests, we can better serve the Antiqueños”.

The Province of Antique is the first province to conduct the Provincial Alliance Building in Region 6 according to DILG LGCDD Chief Roselyn Quintana. It is the third essential component of the Newly Elected Officials (NEO) Program. The NEO consisting of three parts, is intended to capacitate LGUs in formulating a term based development roadmap that is anchored on the national agenda. The participants were expected to build collaboration in crafting an inclusive and strategic Provincial Development and Physical Framework Plan (PDPFP). They were grouped into clusters and came up with common development priority projects to be included in the PDPFP.

PPDC Juliana Cepe, in her presentation of the provincial situationer, vision, mission and challenges said that one of the main economic driver in the province is tourism. Aulynn Yue-Sin as the lead facilitator guided the participants in each module to harmonize local plans and align the projects, programs and activities of the local government units to the Province’s mission and vision.

Cepe assured the participants that the list of priority projects, as an output of this activity, will be included in the PDPFP as long as it fits the criteria. Considering that the funds are limited, projects with the utmost urgency will be considered and the projects should complement each other in resolving a certain issue. Cepe asked the commitment of the participants to help them package project proposals for projects that the provincial government cannot fund for external sourcing of funds.

Issues were raised and queries were made by the participants after each module. Some of the issues discussed are the following, (1) Local Chief Executives power over the prioritization of programs and projects; (2) conflict between municipal and provincial ordinance; (3) COA audit issues on funding of programs and projects; (4) sustainability of the projects; (5) double funding by other NGAs; (6) effects of access roads to insurgency issues, (7) realignment of projects and (8) direct transfer of funds to barangays without the informing the LGU. The facilitators were able to answer the queries and provided recommendations for further improvement.

This activity brought the LGUs together with common needs and similar passion and they were able to support and complement each other to push for priority projects as one for the development of the province. (LGOO II Judy Mae Magdato, DILG6-Antique)