DILG, Ombudsman beef up anti-corruption efforts in LGUs

Two key government agencies have joined forces to strengthen anti-corruption efforts in all local government units (LGUs) across the country.

The partnership was formed after Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Jesse M. Robredo and Conchita C. Morales of the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB) signed a memorandum of agreement that stipulated the harmonization of programs and initiatives of both agencies relative to the prevention of corruption in all provinces, cities, municipalities, and barangays.

The agreement was forged during DILG’s Biyaheng Pinoy culminating activity commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Local Government Code held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City.

After several government agencies had been tainted with corruption during the past administration and lost its credibility, the present overseers of these agencies are starting with renewed fervor.

Robredo said corruption is one of the challenges faced by local governments as it affects the quality of public services, investment climate, and economic development.

According to the DILG Secretary, since local governments, by nature, closely deal with people, effects of corruption are quickly felt; hence, there is a need to build a partnership with the Ombudsman and come up with preventive measures against corruption in LGUs.

“We have agreed to work together in promoting good governance in the LGUs by harmonizing our respective reform programs,” said Robredo.

Robredo cited the Integrity Development Review (IDR) program of the OMB which will be matched with the Local Governance Performance Management System (LGPMS) and Seal of Good Housekeeping (SGH) programs of the DILG.

The IDR is a program that assesses sufficiency of corruption safeguards and corruption vulnerabilities within an agency’s systems including those of the LGUs, while the LGPMS is a self-assessment and development tool that helps LGUs determine their progress in various sectors.

On the other hand, the SGH is an award program recognizing performing LGUs based on pre-determined performance indicators, making them eligible for accessing the Performance Challenge Fund (PCF).

Robredo explained that the collaborative efforts of the two agencies will come into play by using selected indicators of the IDR as indicators for the SGH and LGPMS, and in like manner, the LGPMS integrity report can be used by the IDR as guide in determining LGUs' action to scale up corruption prevention or integrity related initiatives.

To effectively carry out the agreement, a Joint Management Committee (JMC) and a Joint Technical Working Group (JTWG) to be composed of officials and personnel from the DILG and the OMB shall be created.

The JMC and JTWG shall provide overall guidance in the implementation of the program and ensure coordination among local government units.

The agreement likewise provides for the designation of resident Ombudsman coordinators (ROCs) in all local government units to be recommended by the local chief executive. 

original source: www.pia.gov.ph