Congratulations are in order for Lamitan City, which has consistently clinched the Department of Interior and Local Government’s Seal of Good Local Governance Award ever since it first won in 2016.
The SGLG stands as the highest accolade for good governance bestowed by the DILG. This year, Lamitan City joins the ranks of 28 provinces, 64 cities, and 401 municipalities, or a total of 493 recognized LGUs. The awarding ceremony at the Manila Hotel last Thursday, December 14, 2023, was graced by House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, who was introduced by DILG Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. Rep. Mercedes Alvarez was also there personally handing citations to the awardees, including those from her constituents in the 6th District of Negros Occidental.
The SGLG award recognizes local government units that uphold standards of efficient leadership and outstanding public service. Although Lamitan City missed joining the award in its initial year in 2015, it has maintained an impressive record, now earning the award for the sixth time.
Missing the initial year was understandable, considering that Lamitan is situated on the periphery of the Philippine map and classified at a sixth-class component city in the island province of Basilan. Despite this initial setback, Lamitan City has outperformed thousands of LGUs with higher incomes and privileges across the Philippines.
Lamitan City was then facing serious challenges due to security issues involving the Abu Sayyaf Group and other lawless elements. Nevertheless, under the leadership of Mayor Rose Furigay, a figure known for her resilience and numerous accolades, Lamitan City met the rigorous criteria set by the DILG, with the help of her husband, then-Vice Mayor Roderick “Oric” Furigay. Together, they navigated through stringent criteria such as good fiscal administration, disaster preparedness, social protection and sensitivity, health compliance and responsiveness, sustainable education, business friendliness and competitiveness, safety and peace and order, environmental management, tourism, heritage development, culture and arts, and youth development.
Mayor Furigay’s legacy lives on as Lamitan City serves as a trailblazer, inspiring other local government units in the province to likewise pursue SGLG recognition.
Meanwhile, incumbent Mayor Oric Furigay’s historical significance extends beyond Lamitan’s SGLG achievements, as he played a pivotal role in attaining cityhood for Lamitan, along with 15 other municipalities, in the face of opposition from the League of Cities of the Philippines. After a six-year legal battle, Lamitan and the 15 LGUs emerged victorious in the Supreme Court, with renowned Atty. Estelito Mendoza representing them.
Once again, heartfelt congratulations to Lamitan City!