This was underscored by Governor Francisco Emmanuel R. Ortega III in his State of the Province Address (SOPA) held recently at the St. William the Hermit Cathedral here.
The provincial government was recipient of the SGLG in 2012, 2013, and 2016.
The SGLG aims to instill the integrity and good performance of local government units (LGUs) through continuing government reform and sustained local development, according to Ortega,.
“I am very encouraged with the responses especially because we have convinced the DILG that La Union is doing its best to work for local economic development.” he said.
He added, “My hope is that more and more of our partners and local government units get inspired and we now understand that we need to share to others our humble contributions for nation-building.”
In his SOPA, Ortega focused on the province’s financial administration, social protection, business-friendliness, peace and order, disaster preparedness and environmental protection programs of the province including programs on tourism, culture, and arts since 2016.
In partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd), P22.9 million was spent for the construction and upgrade of classrooms and other school facilities and more than 2,700 students were supported through the educational assistance program.
Five district hospitals were able to serve around 44,000 in-patients and around 240,000 outpatients from July 2016 to May 2017 and is continuously upgrading through the help of congressional funds. The hospitals met the requirements of the health standards, making social and health services accessible for all.
For the vulnerable sector, senior citizens, persons with disabilities, women and children, programs such as financial and livelihood assistance, skills training, supplemental feeding, provision of equipment and assistive devices, medical and burial assistance were provided to over 60,000 beneficiaries.
There was also an increase seen in the number of businesses from 23,800 in 2015 to 26,000 in 2016. As of June 2017, a total of 22,600 business establishments are documented and operating and the indicator shows a competitive and business-friendly environment in the province.
The strong support for the national campaign of President Duterte was also addressed through the development of the Anti-Illegal Drugs Framework, focusing on a drug-free province.
La Union also established a 911 Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) which is now operational and covers all the 20 component LGUs. This was adopted as part of the disaster risk reduction management framework, instituting a resilient province by 2022. Several trainings to both employees and volunteers for disaster preparedness were also done to support the program.
The local government units also capacitated on solid waste management, through various training and information campaigns and institutionalized the awareness of the residents on environmental protection and conservation through the search for the cleanest, safest and greenest LGUs.
Other forthcoming infrastructure projects are the establishment of wastewater treatment facilities, construction of river slope protection to adapt and mitigate the effects of climate change, to include monitoring of water quality and rainfall.
At present, the DILG together with its pool of evaluators from the different national government agencies are currently validating all the towns and the city in the province of La Union, if SGLG compliant. PIA-1-northboundasia.com