SULU, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Dec. 12, 2010) – The Sulu provincial Area Coordinating Council has been chosen as one of the finalists for the prestigious Galing Pook Awards.
The Area Coordinating Council coordinate Sulu’s various non-governmental agencies, military, police, emergency services and other organizations and serves as an inter-agency communication network.
It is a facility established as a proactive, reactive, and post conflict mechanism to address various concerns at regional and local levels of governance and to solve problems of coordination and response, said Sulu Governor Sakur Tan, who is also the chairman of the Area Coordinating Council.
“It also functions both as a system and as a council for planning, integrating, directing, supervising, and implementing line-up government programs and projects particularly on political, socioeconomic, cultural, religious, development, security and information issues,” said Fazlur-Rahman Abdulla, Executive Director of the Area Coordinating Council.
He said the United States government also funded some of the construction of buildings use as headquarters of the Area Coordinating Council in Sulu. There are at least 20 Area Coordinating Council across the province.
“This Area Coordinating Council is the brainchild of our Governor Sakur Tan, of his innovative governance. This is a convergence of all stakeholders in Sulu, of our peace and development efforts, all for the people of this province. It is a convergent zone for every stakeholder of peace and development in the province and catapulting point for shared actions,” Abdulla said, adding, Tan was behind the establishment of the Area Coordinating Council in all the province’s 19 towns.
The Galing Pook Awards was launched in 1993 as a pioneering program that searches and recognizes innovative practices by local government units. Finalists with outstanding initiatives are carefully selected and winners recognized in a very prestigious awards ceremony.
Galing Pook traces its beginnings in 1993 when the first Gantimpalang Panglingkod Pook was held. The Awards Program was a joint initiative of the Local Government Academy-Department of the Interior and Local Government, the Ford Foundation, and other individual advocates of good governance from the academe, civil society and the government.
The Asian Institute of Management administered the awards program until 2000. However, the Galing Pook Foundation was formally established as a private awards-giving body in 1998 to sustain the program.
In its almost two decades of existence, Galing Pook has become a leading resource institution continuously promoting innovation and excellence in local governance. It proactively searches and recognizes best local government practices and facilitates their adoption in more communities in the country.
The award is conferred by the Philippine President.
The awardees of the Galing Pook are chosen from a national search of local governance programs, evaluated through a multilevel rigorous screening process based on positive results and impact, promotion of people’s participation and empowerment, transferability and sustainability, and efficiency of program service delivery, according to its website.
Beyond the awards, winning programs become models of good governance promoted for adoption in other communities. They provide useful insights and strategies to find innovative solutions to common problems. More importantly, they affirm the community and the local government’s commitment to good governance, it said.
Since its inception, at least 230 programs of 152 local governments were awarded the Galing Pook. These awardees become very important advocates in stimulating and inspiring other local governments to introduce innovative practices and provide a fertile environment for the replication of successful reforms. The awarding is set on February next year. (Mindanao Examiner)