San Francisco, a small town in Camotes Island, still ranks as the best local government unit (LGU) in Cebu.
This was based on the Capitol-ran Our Cebu Program, an in-house search for the most outstanding LGUs in the province.
Governor Hilario P. Davide III and Vice Governor Agnes Magpale turned over the trophy and P1 million cash prize to San Francisco officials during the awarding ceremony last December 29 at the Capitol Social Hall.
The town won the award for six straight times now- topping the search each year since it started in 2009.
Since its inception, Governor Davide stressed that “Our Cebu Program continues to change paradigms of local governance.” He said, “It has engaged local government units to work towards the vision of a wholesome, advanced, vibrant, equitable and sustainable Cebu.
At the top of our agenda is to attain inclusive, participatory and sustainable development through Good Governance.” “It is the strong foundation that enables a political and social environment that support excellence among individuals and communities, develops pride in our culture and heritage, pride in our being Sugbuanon, and allows respect and protection of our natural endowments,” he added.
Vice Gov. Magpale said the recognition is the Capitol’s “way of inspiring” the stakeholders to participate in the cause to improve the communities. The Vice Governor has served as the program manager of Our Cebu since its birth.
San Francisco Vice Mayor Aaron Capao, Jr. credited their success to their Purok System that has been in place even before the Our Cebu Program. Capao said through the Purok, an extension unit of the barangay, San Francisco’s townspeople are boarding the same boat towards progress and development.
“The Purok system allows the municipal government to explain its programs and policies down to the household level. It also encouraged them to participate in the attainment of its vision and mission,” said Tiotimo Nodalo, a retired teacher, who was tasked by then Mayor Alfredo Arquillano Jr. to establish the Purok System.
Not far behind was the municipality of Liloan and Naga City for second and third place. They received P750,000 and P500,000, respectively, and a trophy each.
Ranked fourth to 10th were the towns of Dalaguete, Barili, Oslob, Tudela, Medellin, Cordova, and Poro. Each of them received P300,000 and a plaque.
For the special awards, San Francisco bagged the outstanding LGU in the livability category. Lilo-an won the green category. The outstanding LGU in tourism as well as culture and heritage was Oslob. Barili and Bogo City were also adjudged as the best in governance and resiliency categories, respectively. The winners of the special awards received a plaque and P100 thousand cash.
The municipalities of Bantayan and Argao were also recognized as emerging LGUs. They also received a plaque and P100,000 each.
In the top 15 outstanding barangay LGUs, Valladolid in Carcar City topped the ranking. They received P500,000 and a trophy. Barangays Santiago, San Francisco and Mainit, Oslob placed second and third, respectively. Santiago received P400,000 while Mainit got P300,000.
The fourth to 10th placers were given P100,000 cash prize. They were as follows: 4. Putat, Tuburan; 5. Liloan, Poblacion; 6. Tudela, Villahermosa; 7. Gairan; Bogo City; 8. Esperanza, Poro; 9. Subangdako, Mandaue City; and 10. Bolocboloc, Barili.
Barangay Lutac, Naga City; Flores, Catmon; Poblacion, Sta. Fe; Ward III, Minglanilla; and Poblacion, Cordova comprised the remaining slots in the top 15. They received P75,000 each.
Some 15 outstanding schools implementing Our Cebu Program were also given a TV set and certificate each. They were Aloguinsan Central School (CS), Carcar City CS, Tambongon CS in the municipality of San Remigio, Oslob National High School (NHS), Simeon Ayuda Elementary School (ES) in Lilo-an, Carmen CS, El Pardo ES in Boljoon, Juan Pamplona NHS in Tabuelan, Compostela CS, Palanas Integrated School in Ginatilan, Tudela CS, Santander CS, Asturias CS, Malbago ES in the municipality of Daanbantayan, and Camotes NHS in San Francisco.
Initiated by the Cebu Provincial Government and the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) in 2009, the Our Cebu Program is about capacitating each of the 51 towns and cities of Cebu Province.
The Our Cebu Program has created the livable scorecard system, a tool in the assessment and evaluation process, which is used to measure the performance the local government units of Cebu. It searches for the best LGU in terms of implementing policies, programs in governance, environment, culture and heritage, inclusiveness and competitiveness, livability, and resiliency.
The scorecard is implemented through the collaboration of a multi-sectoral and multi-disciplinary panel of evaluators from different regional government agencies and private sector.