In an unwavering display of commitment to good governance, Lamitan City has once again secured the prestigious Seal of Good Local Governance Award from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG). This commendable achievement marks Lamitan City’s sixth consecutive win since it first claimed the honor in 2016.
The SGLG, regarded as the pinnacle of recognition for exemplary governance practices, places Lamitan City in the esteemed company of 28 provinces, 64 cities, and 401 municipalities, totaling 493 LGUs. The recent awarding ceremony, held at the Manila Hotel on December 14, 2023, was graced by the presence of House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, introduced by DILG Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. Also in attendance enduring the long but happy occasion was Cong. Mercedes Alvarez who personally presented citations to the deserving awardees, including those from her constituents in the 6th District of Negros Occidental.
This accolade is a testament to Lamitan City’s unwavering commitment to efficient leadership and outstanding public service. Although Lamitan City missed joining in SGLG’s inaugural year in 2015, it has since consistently demonstrated its dedication, now securing the SGLG for the sixth time.
Missing the awards in 2015 can be understood in the context of Lamitan City’s geographical location on the periphery of the Philippine map, classified as a sixth-class component city in the island province of Basilan. Despite these challenges, Lamitan City has surpassed thousands of LGUs with higher incomes and privileges across the Philippines.
During those early years, Lamitan City faced formidable security challenges, grappling with the presence of the Abu Sayyaf Group and other lawless elements. Yet, under the leadership of the resilient and multi-awarded then-Mayor Rose Furigay, the city met the stringent criteria set by the DILG, with crucial support from then-Vice Mayor Roderick “Oric” Furigay. Together, they navigated through the comprehensive criteria encompassing fiscal administration, disaster preparedness, social protection, health compliance, sustainable education, business friendliness, safety and peace, environmental management, tourism, heritage development, culture and arts, and youth development.
The beloved Mayor Rose Furigay’s legacy lives on, as Lamitan City emerges as a trailblazer, inspiring neighboring local government units to pursue SGLG recognition.
Meanwhile, the incumbent Mayor Oric Furigay’s historical significance extends beyond Lamitan’s SGLG achievements. As then-mayor in mid 2000, he played a pivotal role in securing cityhood for Lamitan and 15 other municipalities, overcoming opposition from the League of Cities of the Philippines. Following a challenging six-year legal battle that ended in February 2011, Lamitan and the 15 LGUs achieved victory in the Supreme Court, with the renowned Atty. Estelito Mendoza representing their cause.
Again, my heartfelt congratulations to Lamitan City, truly a shining example of dedication to good governance.