En­forcer of good gov­er­nance

Sun.Star Pampanga - - TOPSTORIES! - KARL G. OMBION

NOT er­rand guys of the may­ors and other lo­cal govern­ment of­fi­cials.

Re­ports and feed­backs are ev­ery­where that most mu­nic­i­pal lo­cal govern­ment op­er­at­ing of­fi­cers (MLGOOs) are poorly per­form­ing as over­seer and en­forcer of lo­cal good gov­er­nance which is a big task given them by the De­part­ment of In­te­rior and Lo­cal Govern­ment (DILG), ac­cord­ing to the Lo­cal Govern­ment Code.

MLGOOs are re­spon­si­ble for as­sist­ing lo­cal govern­ment units (LGUs) in craft­ing mu­nic­i­pal de­vel­op­ment coun­cil poli­cies and pro­ce­dures and en­sure they are put into prac­tice, and mak­ing sure that lo­cal ser­vices are de­liv­ered ef­fec­tively.

As such, MLGOOs must have a good and com­pre­hen­sive grasp of the lo­cal sit­u­a­tion, and pos­sess or at least strive to have all rounded skills re­quired for var­i­ous ser­vices to be able to ad­dress wide-rang­ing con­di­tions and con­cerns of lo­cal gov­er­nance.

More im­por­tantly, MLGOOs must main­tain pro­fes­sional in­de­pen­dence from LGU of­fi­cials or any in­ter­est and power groups in the lo­cal­ity to dis­pense their role and du­ties with­out un­due in­flu­ence and more ef­fec­tively and i ncl usi vel y.

In short, they are the face of the na­tional govern­ment in the lo­cal­ity, the checker and en­forcer of the right im­ple­men­ta­tion of the lo­cal govern­ment code and other orders and mem­o­randa on lo­cal gov­er­nance, the fis­cal­izer of truth, fair­ness and jus­tice, and the guardian of the code of ethics for govern­ment em­ploy­ees.

Un­for­tu­nately, this is not what most MLGOOs are do­ing.

Re­ports and feed­backs keep reach­ing the DILG cen­tral of­fices and the Mala­canang’s 8888’s com­plaints and re­sponse cen­ter that MLGOOs are ac­com­plices in one or the other to the bad gov­er­nance prac­tices of gov­er­nors, may­ors, and other lo­cal of­fi­cials.

A num­ber of feed­backs point to the MLGOOs cov­er­ing up the wrong­do­ings of the may­ors and other lo­cal of­fi­cials, deaf and blind to ram­pant lo­cal cor­rup­tion, silent on the wide­spread il­le­gal drug op­er­a­tions in the barangays, bi­ased against gen­uine cit­i­zens so­cial or­ga­ni­za­tions and de­vel­op­ment-ori­ented non govern­ment or­ga­ni­za­tions (NGOs), and even tol­er­ant of the electoral par­ti­san­ship of lo­cal govern­ment of­fi­cials.

Why is this hap­pen­ing? In fact, facts tell that this has been go­ing for a long time, per­haps un­der sev­eral pres­i­dents and DILG sec­re­taries, and still re­main grossly unchecked and un­cor­rected.

In many cases, the MLGOOs could not even com­mand the BJMP and Bureau of Fire of­fi­cers to do some­thing be­cause they all be­long to DILG, yet MLGOOs have to get clear­ance first from the mayor or lo­cal of­fi­cials.

Some ex­pla­na­tions point to the fact that a num­ber of MLGOO of­fices are de­pen­dent on the may­ors for their sup­plies, of­fice space and equip­ment, mo­bi­liza­tion lo­gis­tics, among oth­ers. Wit­tingly or not, these are some con­di­tions that make them sub­servient to the whims and caprices of the may­ors and other lo­cal of­fi­cials, and there­fore pre­vent them from ex­er­cis­ing their in­de­pen­dence and ini­tia­tives.

I find it even more dis­gust­ing that MLGOOs are so busy year round in plan­ning, eval­u­a­tions, sem­i­nars, train­ings, ed­u­ca­tional trips, among oth­ers, and yet they re­main lap­dogs of the lo­cal politi­cians and couldn’t en­force lo­cal good gov­er­nance.

The MLGOOs are em­bold­ened to con­tinue what they have been do­ing be­cause in a num­ber of cases their pro­vin­cial of­fi­cials are widely re­ported to be cod­dlers of the cor­rupt politi­cians.

DILG Sec­re­tary Ed­uardo Año has started last year with re­gional dia­logues with DILG re­gional, pro­vin­cial and mu­nic­i­pal/ city of­fi­cers to ad­dress their con­cerns and re­align them in the new ori­en­ta­tion, thrust, and pri­or­i­ties of the de­part­ment and the na­tional govern­ment.

A num­ber of the items I bring out here ac­tu­ally tran­spired in those dia­logues and Sec­re­tary Año has re­peat­edly re­minded DILG field per­son­nel and LGU of­fi­cials to be true to their man­date and tasks.

Still, I look for­ward to more de­ci­sive ac­tions to be taken by Sec­re­tary Año and other cen­tral of­fice of­fi­cials to ad­dress and re­solve these prob­lems.

I know that they know the grav­ity of these prob­lems, but I see some light at the end the tun­nel so to speak, be­cause the de­part­ment lead­er­ship is demon­strat­ing se­ri­ous­ness in their call to rid the de­part­ment down to the LGUs of cor­rupt and crim­i­nal of­fi­cials.

DILG is a pow­er­ful in­sti­tu­tion of the govern­ment. Among the equal na­tional agen­cies it is the pri­mary in­sti­tu­tion for en­sur­ing good gov­er­nance. Yet it is still pow­er­less in many ar­eas of the coun­try be­cause of these cor­rupt and crim­i­nal politi­cians lord­ing over DILG field of­fi­cers, and other na­tional line agen­cies of­fi­cers.

I wish Sec­re­tary Año and other cen­tral of­fi­cial of­fi­cials, es­pe­cially those in Na­tional Barangay Op­er­a­tions Of­fice, OPDS, Bureau of Lo­cal Govern­ment Su­per­vi­sion, and Sup­port to Lo­cal Govern­ment–Pro­gram Man­age­ment Of­fice to sharpen their calls, and in­ten­sify their ef­forts to re­store the dig­nity and in­tegrity of the DILG down the line, as over­seer and en­forcer of truly good lo­cal gov­er­nance.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.