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ARMM passes good governance tests

COTABATO CITY – For the first time in the region’s history, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) has passed on Wednesday the national government’s Good Governance Conditions (GGC) reflecting “a revitalized and reformed autonomous region.”

Laisa Alamia, ARMM executive secretary, said passing the GCC under the Results-Based Performance Management System is “proof that the reforms in the ARMM are working.”

“We have the autonomous region that was touted to be a failed experiment, additional to that is the people’s hopeless mindset of its progressive change. But with this perfect compliance with the six GGC criteria, it shows our reforms work,” Alamia said.

The Results-Based Performance Management System monitors the performance of government agencies, in line with the Aquino administration’s commitment to good governance by encouraging exemplary performance and effective service delivery to the people.

The six criteria under the GGC are: Performance-Based Bonus Targets, Transparency Seal, Philippine General Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPS) Posting, Liquidation of All Cash Advances, Citizen’s Charter, and Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN).

Despite the challenges of complying with the requirements because of ARMM’s unique government structure, Alamia said the regional government managed to pass the conditions because of the hard work of the region’s officials and employees.

Alamia added that the efforts for the ARMM’s success started with the leadership of Governor Mujiv Hataman even when he was still an officer-in-charge governor on December 2011. Hataman was later elected as governor on May 2013.

“When Hataman came in as an OIC Governor, a series of assessments about the region’s problems and issues were conducted. When he was elected, development plans like the Regional Development Plan (RDP) and the three-year Strategic Convergence Plan for 2013-2015 that serve as a transition plan for the Bangsamoro were drafted,” Alamia said.

This compliance is first in the 25-year history of ARMM. Alamia said hands-on management of ARMM’s different line agencies was conducted and they were directed to stick with their plans and targets for the Performance-Based Bonus Targets.

“We have strengthened our database management system for all ARMM line agencies, and the monitoring and evaluation of our projects and programs,” she said.

“We required all agencies to create websites and post their financial transactions and budget expenses beginning 2012 for the Transparency Seal that would signify the message of open governance,” Alamia said.

All agencies of ARMM are registered in the PhilGEPS, which requires the agencies to post public procurements in the PhilGEPS website as a government’s tool for procurement reforms and transparency.

Because of unliquidated cash advances in the past administrations, ARMM was known as the country’s corruption capital.

“An executive order was released in 2012 disallowing cash advances. We started at the Office of the Regional Governor and later we expanded it to the entire region,” Alamia said.

Offices in the region have also complied with the Citizen’s Charter – a government’s tool to present systematic commitment to the people.

More than 30,000 employees, including 27,000 teachers, in the region have filed their SALN, “a first time in ARMM,” Alamia said.

“Once we transition to the Bangsamoro, we will be turning-over a government that has leveled-up when it comes to good governance,” Alamia said.

Further, she said professionalism of officials and employees of the region brought about by good governance compliance will be a challenge for the Bangsamoro.

“It’s either the Bangsamoro government will maintain or exceed the level of professionalism of the present bureaucracy,” Alamia added.

Having passed the GGC, the ARMM is 100% ready for the transition to the Bangsamoro, Alamia said. (Bureau of Public Information)

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