“Congratulations to Team COB for successfully undergoing the PGS audit-Institutionalization stage!”
Such were the congratulatory remarks of City Mayor Jose Enrique Garcia III after the city government passed the third-party auditing, a Performance Governance System (PGS) requirement for a local government unit (LGU) to be branded as an institution of good governance.
After a grueling scrutiny held from May 17 to 20, examiners from the Institute of Internal Auditors-Philippines (IIA-P) gave Balanga City a high mark of 90%.
Mr. Saturnino Nicanor, Jr., Ms. Maria Cristina Lacsamana, Ms. Leah Grace Ignacio, Mr. Juan Pascual Cosare, and Mr. Marcelino Lalongisip, all from IIA-P, probed the city’s strategic programs. Mr. Jan-Ace Mendoza of Institute for Solidarity in Asia (ISA) joined the auditors.
Garcia welcomed the auditors on May 17 where he led the brief reporting of the city’s PGS undertaking. The auditors lauded the city mayor for this saying that Garcia’s initiative to lead the presentation is something that other mayors do not usually do.
After Garcia’s turn, Mr. Edmer Fabian, OSM officer-in-charge, briefed the auditors about the city’s citizen charter.
A full review of the city government’s efforts
On May 18, the auditors interviewed city government employees. Most were picked randomly in an attempt to inspect how the city government implements its projects.
Most of the questions probed the employees’ understanding of the city’s vision, mission, and core values. On some occasions, employees were asked to describe the relationship between their everyday tasks and the city’s vision.
All through this close examination, the auditors found that almost all employees could state the vision and relate it to their work. Thus, the auditors gave the employees a 97%-mark on May 20 for their mastery of the governance charter.
The partnership with Eastwoods Professional College of Science and Technology earned for the city government another “best practice” grade. As of now, the city government is working closely with the said tertiary school for the initial steps of extending PGS to the whole community.
The city government was also given a best practice grade on organizational structure.
The auditor also commended the city government’s breakthrough initiative, the WWW.COB. The breakthrough initiative aims to establish a comprehensive information system in the entire city through pocket parks, interactive kiosks, and free wireless internet connection.
According to the auditors, this breakthrough program will change the lives of Balangueños living in far-flung areas as the people will be given greater access to learning.
The city got high marks on other PGS concerns like the performance scorecard and the Multi-Sectoral Governance Coalition (MSGC).
In spite of the success at the third party auditing, the OSM advised city government employees to continue their PGS-related tasks.
However, Mayor Garcia has to prepare for a public revalida (exposition) on June 10 in Manila. The city mayor will represent the city government before a board of commentators. By Arli Joshua Atienza