Bohol savored a grand slam of awards last week led by Gov. Edgar Chatto who was picked as one of the 10 governors in the country cited for their campaign against illegal drugs,Â as evaluated by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).Â Ten other awards were received by the provincial as well as the city and a municipality.
The capitol board, city council, leading peace and order and development councils, and mayorsâ€™ league instead heard the provincial leader attributing the honor as a â€œtestamentâ€ to Boholâ€™s â€œshared leadershipâ€ with the people.
The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) under the administration of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte last week released the â€œhonor rollâ€ naming the countryâ€™s 10 â€œmodel governors,â€ including Chatto.
After three stringent stages of screening and validation, with the â€œrelentless anti-drug campaign effortâ€ as one of the yardsticks, the DILG came up with the â€œhonor listâ€ and submitted it to the MalacaÃ±ang.
â€œContaining the illegal drugs problem is only one thing. These governors are also model governors. They are governors in governance and transparency,â€ DILG Sec. Ismael Sueno said in a MalacaÃ±ang press conference.
The Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP), Tagbilaran Cityâ€™s Sangguniang Panlungsod (City SP), Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC), Provincial Development Council (PDC) and League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) – Bohol Chapter congratulated Chatto in separate resolutions.
The mayors commended the governor at their meeting at the Bohol Tropics on Thursday, during which they also met with Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Loyd Dino on varied concerns affecting the welfare of the Boholanos.
The LMP-Bohol thanked in another resolution Duterteâ€™s trusted man in the Visayas for coming to converse with the Boholanos and listen to their leaders topped by the governor, who has repeatedly rallied for full support to the national development agenda.
Thu an SP resolution, the province likewise thanked the presidential assistant for visiting Bohol and accommodating the concerns of the Boholanos.
The consultative dialogue was also attended by other provincial officials and local heads of national agencies.
Meanwhile, the other awards received last week were: Bohol Provincial Police Office as “Best Police Provincial Office”; Tagbilaran City, “Best Component City Police Station”; Panglao, “Best Municipal Police Station”;Â Provincial Public Safety Company BPPO, “Best Provincial Public Safety Company”; Women and Children Protection Desk BPPO, “Best Women & Children Protection Desk” and Bohol District Jail as “Best District Jail in Central Visayas.”
Other Bohol awardees were: P/Supt. Nicomedes Olaivar, “Best Police Commissioned Officer for Operation”; SPO4 Yolando Bagotchay, “Best Senior Police Non-Commissioned Officer”, Jail Sr. Insp. Jose Rusylvi Abueva, “Disrtrict Jail Warden for 2016″Â and Jail Officer 1 Jarice Harah Busano, “Best District Parelegal Officer 2016.”
CELEBRATION FORÂ THE EXEMPLARY
â€œAs we utterly condemn the alleged narco-politicians, we should also be celebrating these provincial chief executives for showing exemplary management prowess and strong character in thwarting illegal drugs in their territory,â€ Presidential Communications Sec. Martin Andanar said in a text to the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
Sueno said the drug problem is â€œenormousâ€ that it has expanded throughout the country, but â€œthe presidentÂ is not only exposing the bad guys, but also the good guys in government.â€
Chatto and the nine other top governors were identified also in terms of good governance, transparency, business competitive and disaster preparedness, social protection and environment management, according to the DILG which also posted the honor list on its official website.
Sueno said, â€œThey are awardees. They are good in disaster preparedness, and they have made their provinces competitive when it comes to business. They are model leaders, model local executives.â€
Just on Friday, DILG Usec. Ricardo Jalad, a Boholano, joined Chatto and graced the culmination of a disaster preparedness activity here which was the all-hazard incident management team training on incident command system.
Some provincial board members and mayors agreed that it is not surprising that more recognitions are due as in the past.
It is less surprising, they said, that some quarters continue to paint a picture different from what Chatto truly is,Â to weaken the peopleâ€™s trust in him and perhaps grab leadership Â at all cost.
According to them, the validated DILG honor roll has backfired at Chattoâ€™s fiercest false accusers, some of them believed to be in direct contact with certain politicians and hiding in pseudo social media accounts in their smear works.
Like his fellow Boholanos outside Bohol, including those in foreign lands across the globe, Dr. Cesar Saloma of the University of the Philippines (UP) congratulated the governor.
Saloma is a member of the UP Advisory Council that has partnered with the Chatto administration.
Another member of the council is Dr. Ernesto Pernia, the Boholano director-general of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) of the Duterte administration.
Sueno said the listing of top governors intends to challenge and inspire the local chief executives nationwide to prove their worth, especially that the heightened war on drugs has affected a number of local leaders.
The DILG honor roll includes Chatto,Â Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos, Isabela Gov. Faustino Dy III, Quirino Gov. Junie Cua, Palawan Gov. Jose Alvarez, Romblon Gov. Eduardo Firmalo, Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo MaraÃ±on, Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III, South Cotabato Gov. Daisy Avance-Fuentes and Agusan del Norte Gov. Ma. Angelica Rosedell Amante-Matba.
CONSEQUENCEÂ OF SERVICE
Chatto said all awards and recognitions earned by the province since he assumed governor in 2010 are just a â€œconsequence of our service anchored on the principle of shared leadership.â€
The governor made this statement when sought by the press to comment on the utter disregard by his harshest critics for the latest recognition of Boholâ€™s leadership.
The detractorsâ€™ circle even again used the social media in maligning Chatto by copying certain parts of the Inquirer report, pasting them in a sequence that could mislead the netizens and posted the â€œnews storyâ€ on fake facebook accounts.
The disturbing posts would read and appear that Chatto and nine other governors in the honor roll are â€œto be recognized by the presidentâ€ when he will â€œname in public the second batch of the elected officials, judges and policemen alleged links to narcotics trade.â€
A positive thinker, Chatto chose to find comfort in appreciating the recognition, saying â€œit truly is humbling and, of course, inspiring.â€
He thanked the DILG led by Sueno even if certain local broadcasters also linked to the detractorsâ€™ group aired â€œmaliciously intended to generate public doubt on the official act of the DILG.
Still, the governor thanked the media for the greater good it has done to the Boholano community.
Last year, mediaman Salvador Diputado and company questioned DILGâ€™s recognition of Bohol among the 10 â€œbest governed provincesâ€ in the country based on the agencyâ€™s competitive Local Government Performance and Management System.
The recognition was given by the DILG under former Sec. Jessie Robredo, who later died in a plane crash.
This only shows that the criticsÂ would not respect any national administration which official act they deem inimical to their vested interest,, according to some local DILG people.
A good source said all black propaganda here had been considered before the DILG concluded its three-phase validation process, finalized the honor list and submitted it to the president.
NO EXTRA AWARD,Â BUT MORE THAN ENOUGH
The DILG secretary said in the MalacaÃ±ang press conference that the model governors will not receive extra bonuses or awards for being announced as the â€œgood guys in the government.â€
Initially, there were 41 names of candidates (governors) for the honor roll which were trimmed to 25 during the second phase of screening until the top 10 emerged after the third and final validation.
The recognition is â€œmore than enough because it is an honor itself to have faithfully served to the best of our ability,â€ the governor said while reiterating his appreciation and gratitude to the DILG and its secretary.
Under his leadership, Bohol has kept reaping awards and recognitions such as the Best Governed Province in 2010 &Â 2011; Â Seal of Good Local Financial Housekeeping, 2012, 2013 and 2014; Gawad Pamana ng Lahi, 2014; Seal of Good Local Governance, 2015.
To date, Chatto has remained as the only Philippine local government official conferred the countryâ€™s two highest awards for outstandingÂ publicÂ officials given by the Civil Service Commission (CSC), Commission on Audit (COA) and Ombudsman.
These are the Lingkod Bayan Award and Dangal ng Bayan Award, which he received as then vice governor and now governor, respectively
Each award granted him P200 cash prize, college scholarship for him orÂ his dependents and raise in salary to the next higher level of position in the government.
Because of Chattoâ€™s Lingkod Bayan Award, Bohol was then the only province in the country whose vice governor and governor (by that time was Rene Relampagos, now the First District congressman) got the same salary amount.
Already the governor in 2011, Chatto received the Dangal ng Bayan Award for exemplary ethical behavior and conduct as a public servant-leader.
He was awarded a cash prize, scholarship grant transferrable to his child and salary increase to the next higher pay grade.
But Chatto opted not to avail of or enjoy the salary grade hike because he did not want the province to pay him more than how much a governor is mandated to receive.
Chatto, at present, is one of the most sought-after resource persons of the DILG-Local Government Academy (LGA) conferences on local governance.Â (With report fromVen rebo Arigo)