For the third consecutive year, the City Council of San Fernando has won the "Most Outstanding Sanggunian Panlungsod" award at the national level, elevating it to the Hall of Fame awardee of the component cities in the country.
The award was conferred by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Philippine Councilors League (PCL) on Thursday under a "Local Legislative Award" program in recognition of the exemplary performance of sanggunians of local government units (LGUs) in "legislating measures that help build the foundation of meaningful local administration and development."
In an address read by DILG Undersecretary Austere A. Panadero, President Benigno Aquino III reminded the city councils on the need for sustained dedication and commitment that the late DILG secretary Jesse Robredo had wanted to in pursuing the Local Legislative Award program.
After accepting the award, City of San Fernando vice mayor Edwin Santiago, concurrently presiding officer of the Sanggunian Panlungsod (SP), said the recognition reflects the council's commitment to the pursuit of excellence and quality in its legislative mission.
Santiago said the SP's performance was the result of a harmonious relationship between the city legislature and the executive led by city mayor Oscar S. Rodriguez.
The city executive and council "work hand in hand in our vision for San Fernando to be a Habitat of Human Excellence," Santiago said, adding that the SP "constantly consults the masses through public hearings before we pass codes, ordinances and resolutions because we know that they are all affected by legislations we pass."
For his part, Rodriguez lauded the city council's output of ordinances and resolutions that jibed with his administration's eight-point agenda aimed at raising the overall quality of life of Fernandinos.
"We coordinate closely and we share a common vision," Rodriguez said.
"We take governance seriously, taking into consideration the plight of the poor particularly," he added.
DILG regional director Florida Dijan has earlier said that the selection was based on a comprehensive criteria that included: effectiveness of the legislative agenda; legislative tracking system; availability of legislative documents; efficiency of performance of the Sanggunian; and quality of office set-up and staff complement.
In particular, the San Fernando Sanggunian was noted for "significant landmark legislations" such as the annual investment incentives program, comprehensive development plan, revenue code, solid waste management plan, appropriation ordinance, and the first-ever city risk reduction and management code for a local government unit.