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LIMASAWA, Southern Leyte, Sept. 11 (PIA) -- The head of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in the region challenged local officials and residents of this historic island-town to maintain the status for having earned the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG).

Director Pedro Noval of DILG-8 issued the challenge in a conferment ceremony Wednesday, September 9 at the town's gym in barangay Cabulihan here, where he congratulated everyone for passing the SGLG.

He even compared the LGU to a college student who graduated as a Summa Cum Laude.

Moments earlier, Noval, together with Limasawa Mayor Melchor Petracorta, DILG Provincial Director Juan Badocdoc, municipal and barangay officials, unveiled the SGLG marker that was installed at the right side entrance of the Limasawa municipal hall, witnessed by students, teachers, Pantawid beneficiaries, and several Senior Citizens.

"The SGLG marker is proof of teamwork among the governed and those who govern," Noval said in his message, in which he stressed the challenge for "LGU officials and people to sustain the gains attained."

Limasawa had the singular distinction as the first-ever LGU among the 18 municipalities in the province to garner the SGLG, and with it the LGU can access the Performance Challenge Fund of Php 3 Million.

"The check is ready for release pending compliance of documents submission until September 30, and I will come back personally to give the check to the Mayor," Noval said.

He cautioned that the reward money should not be used for municipal construction but can be utilized for disaster preparedness.

In a follow-up interview with Mayor Petracorta on what project they may have for the P 3 Million prize, he said he will still call a meeting with the local development council, although he pledged to beat the September 30 deadline for submission of papers.

In last year's evaluation, which also took place in September and October, Limasawa passed the three main indicators on disaster preparedness, social protection, and good financial housekeeping, plus one of three other indicators on business competitiveness, peace and order, and environment.

By next month another round of SGLG evaluation will be taken for 2016 and Noval expressed high expectation for Limasawa to keep the record.

"The SGLG marker will be taken out if the award will not be sustained," Noval said, although in an interview later at Padre Burgos during the return trip he qualified that the statement was more of a challenge, again, than a threat.

SGLG is the latest in a series of awards reaped by the LGU. Others included awards on Nutrition, Galing Pook, Rabies-Free, and Breastfeeding. (jrc/mmp, PIA8-Southern Leyte)