MANILA, Philippines – Improving local governance in the Philippines is a thankless job. There is less glitz and more grit involved as people look for ways to develop better ways for local government units to serve the people.

This is why it takes a special kind of individual to thrive in this environment and make important contributions—even if they seem inconsequential—to the department’s success.

To honor these people and groups, the Local Government Academy (LGA) presented the first Capacity Development Awards for Catalysts of Excellence (CapDev ACE) to 5 outstanding Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) officials, employees, and Local Governance Regional Resource Centers (LGRRC).

Winners received their awards on December 16, 2016, at the Gabi ng Parangal held at the Manila Hotel.

The CapDev ACE was designed as part of the DILG’s efforts to invest in its people and recognize their outstanding performance.

“For decades, we surmounted challenges and emerged more inspired for what we do for LGUs and the meaningful outcomes we produce, because of the commitment, competence, and cooperation of the men and women of the department,” said Undersecretary for Local Government Austere A. Panadero.

He congratulated the winners saying, “You all deserve recognition for a job well done and you make me proud of your achievements.”

For LGA Executive Director Marivel C. Sacendoncillo, the awards should be “a stimulus to continually improve not just your own selves, but harness the community to become positive and productive partners in local governance.”

The finalists and winners were selected by a multi-sectoral committee composed of:

  • Jose D. Lina Jr.
  • Corazon Alma G. De Leon
  • Evelyn A. Trompeta
  • Rene M. Fortuno
  • Marivel C. Sacendoncillo

During the Awards Night, those present also remembered Negros Island Regional Director Margie Biligan who received a posthumous award for her dedicated service to the DILG.

Dangal ng Kagawaran: Lennie Yap

The Dangal ng Kagawaran, or People’s Choice Award, is given to an individual for an outstanding contribution that directly benefitted the LGRRC or the community.

In the case of DILG-NCR Information Technology Officer Lennie Yap, the award is for her multiple contributions to make the office one of the most technologically-adept in the department.

She developed information technology systems like the Human Resource Information System, Records Tracking Systems, Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) Database, and Barangay Officials Database System, which made processes more efficient.

Singsing ng Tanikala: Elsbeth Maralli

The Singsing ng Tanikala, the award for the Outstanding Focal Persons for LGA Programs, is conferred to the best performing regional focal person in any LGA-led major programs along the DILG’s 4 outcome areas.

This honor went to Elsbeth T. Maralli, who is the DILG Region II’s focal person for Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Climate Change Adaptation (DRRM-CCA).

In 2015, Maralli exceeded regional targets with 99% LCCAP trainings and 100% GIS trainings, and established the first regional Disaster Operation Center. Throughout her time with the office, Maralli helped the region minimize disaster casualties, especially during Typhoon Lawin (Haima).

Tatag ng Agila: Florida Dijan

As one of the prime examples of public service, DILG-III Regional Director Florida M. Dijan was the recipient of the first Tatag ng Agila, or Capacity Development Leadership Award.

The prize, which goes to the regional director who developed programs, projects, or process improvements that positively affected the operations of the organization, was given to Dijan for work in partnering with different agencies and stakeholders to improve their technical service delivery to LGUs.

Bugkos ng Bayan: DILG Quezon City

DILG Quezon City, or “Kyusi,” has made itself synonymous with governance innovations when it spurred the creation of the Barangay Seal of Good Housekeeping. Combined with their continued assistance to the city have earned them the Bugkos ng Bayan award for outstanding clusters, highly urbanized cities, or provinces.

Ugnay ng Mamamayan: DILG Region 6

Two of the DILG’s preferred methods of capacity development are the promotion of best practices because it is cost-efficient and sustainable in the long run and awards programs for exemplary units.

The LGRRC Region VI’s EXCELL (Excellence in Local Governance) Awards is a notable example of combining the two and maximizing their benefits. Over the years it has been scaled up to harmonize it with the Seal of Good Local Governance.

Their initiative has received national attention in the past, and continued improvements and innovations earned it the 2016 Ugnay ng Mamamayan.


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