Biñan City, the premier heritage and trade capital of the South

This coming February, the City of Biñan will be celebrating not just one but three important events that mark its history and heritage – its 13th Cityhood Anniversary (February 2), its 78th Liberation Day (February 3), and its 276th Foundation Day (February 4) – collectively known as Araw ng Biñan.

              And what better way to honor these events than by recalling the awards that the city has received throughout the years. Annually, different award-giving bodies such as but not limited to the Deparment of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), Galing Pook Foundation, the Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines-Department of Tourism (ATOP-DOT), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), and other private associations screen different participating local government units (LGUs) all over the country against their criteria and requirements, select finalists, and award the best among those who participated.

              Biñan City is not new to these kinds of request for participation as it actively showcases the way they do things around the city, engaging its people to support the endeavors of the LGU to provide good governance and quality services to its constituents. Last year alone, the LGU received more than 40 awards, proving that their efforts to continually improve what has already been institutionalized throughout the city were never done in vain and will continue to inspire their leaders to do more and their citizens to give more for their beloved LGU.

              Here are the awards received by the City of Biñan that made a big impact on everyone who contributed to realizing their mission and vision for the city.

Seal of Good Governance

On July 23, 2018, Republic Act No. 11292, otherwise known as the Seal of Good Local Governance Act of 2019, was enacted to “recognize the good performance of LGUs in transparency and accountability in the use of public funds, preparedness for challenges posed by disasters, sensitivity to the needs of vulnerable and marginalized sectors of society, implementation of health programs, investment and employment promotion, protection of constituency from threats to life and damage to property, and safeguarding the integrity of the environment (Section 2, RA No. 11292).”

              Thus, the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) is awarded annually to the LGU that meets and exceeds the requirements stipulated in the act, among which includes the uphold of transparency and accountability in the use of public funds, preparedness in times of disasters, readiness to assist those in the marginalized sectors of the LGU, conservation of local culture and heritage, improvement of education in the country through reforms and programs, adoptive social responsibility, and protection of its constituents from harm and property damage.

              And for the 4th time, the most prestigious and most coveted SGLG was awarded to Biñan City on December 15, 2022 after passing the assessment and validation on the national level for the award requirements. Together with this award, a P7 million incentive fund was provided to the LGU to support its future projects. This is a feat fit for the best among the best, and Biñan City proved to be among the fortunate 350 of 1,715 LGUs in the national level who received this recognition from the DILG. The city received previous SGLG awards in 2017, 2018, and 2019.

Gawad Kalasag Beyond Compliant Award

In November 2022, the City of Biñan was named one of the recipients of Gawad Kalasag, an award given by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) that recognizes the excellence in disaster risk reduction and management and humanitarian assistance. This is the first time that the city has ever received this recognition.

              Biñan received the “Fully Compliant” classification, which means they have surpassed the metrics set by the NDRRMC and have shown an excellent performance. It also means that they have completed their duties.

Pearl Awards, Exemplary Tourism Practices

In 2005, the Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines (ATOP), during their 6th National Convention, established the ATOP-DOT Best Practices of the Philippines Awards to recognize exemplary tourism practices in the country. ATOP is a national organization composed of provincial, municipal, and local tourism officers. The Award is open to all LGUs and has seven categories on Best Tourism Festival Event, Sports Event, Tourism-Oriented LGU, Tourism Week/Month Celebration, Tourism Campaign, Tourism Enterprise, and Heritage Conservation Project.

              During the 2022 ATOP-DOT Pearl Awards held during the 23rd National Tourism Convention on October 27, 2022, Biñan City bagged four awards: Grand Winner for the Best Program for Culture and Arts (Biñan City Centre for Performing Arts), 1st Runner Up for Best Tourism Festival Event (Puto Latik Festival), 1st Runner Up for Best Tourism Historical Commemoration Event (Araw ng Biñan: Biñan 1075), and 1st Runner Up for Best Tourism Publication (Pamana ng Buhay Coffee Table Book). The LGU also won in different categories during the Pearl Awards in 2018 and 2019.

Most Business Friendly

In 2002, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), which advocates for business growth and sustainable development through the provision of different business services, established the Most Business Friendly LGU award to recognize the efforts and best practices of the participating LGUs in promoting trade and investments, employment, transparency, accountability, and efficiency the delivery of business services.

              There are five criteria that the LGUs must meet: trade, investments, and tourism promotions; public-private sector partnerships; micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMES) development; quality management system, innovations, and human resources development; and inter-local government relations. In 2018, Biñan City was one of the finalists in this award. Last year, Biñan City received the Most Business Friendly LGU Special Citation.

              Annually, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) presents the Best PESO Award that recognizes the relevant contributions and exemplary accomplishments of Public Employment Service Offices (PESO) in implementing DOLE’s employment facilitation programs.

              Biñan City has won several citations during this annual event. In 2017, Biñan City won the Best PESO in the Conduct of Career Guidance Services and Job Fair as well as Best Regional PESO and Best Performing PESO in the Conduct of Referral and Placement. In 2018, Biñan City won as PESO Regional Top Performer and Regional Best PESO under Component City Category. In 2020, Biñan City won again as Regional Best PESO under the Component City Category and as Top Performer in the Conduct of Referral and Placement. And most recently in 2022, Biñan City won the PESO Bayanihan Award.

Other Award-Giving Bodies

Aside from the major awards mentioned above, Biñan City has also received awards from other award-giving bodies. Superbrands Philippines recognized Biñan City Mayor Walfredo “Arman” Dimaguila Jr. as the Most Outstanding Mayor of 2022 during their annual Outstanding Local Legislators Award. In the same year, Vice Mayor Angelo “Gel” Alonte received the Outstanding Filipino Achiever Award for Public Service from the Golden Globe Annual Award for Business.

              The National Competitiveness Council (NCC) under the Department of Trade and Industry awarded Biñan City in 2022 as the Top 1 Most Competitive Component City for Economic Dynamism, Top 2 Most Competitive Component City for Innovation, Top 6 Most Competitive Component City in the Overall Ranking, and the Nutrition Champion Award. The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) also recognized Biñan City as a Model LGU in the Adoption and Utilization of Disaster Reporting Tools in 2022 and awarded the LGU with the Seal of Child Friendly Local Governance in 2019.

              The Department of Health awarded Biñan City with a Citation Award for Social and Behavior Change Strategy and Healthy Pilipinas Covid-19 Response in 2022 as well as the 1st Consistent Regional Outstanding Winner for Nutrition (CROWN) Maintenance Award in 2019 and their 2nd CROWN Award in 2022.

              In addition to these numerous citations and recognitions, in 2022, Biñan City also received the 2021 National Anti-Drug Abuse Council Performance for 2019 and 2020, was named Child Labor Prevention and Elimination Champion, was tagged Gawad Edukampyon for Early Childhood Care and Development in the Component City Category, was granted the Manila Bayani Awards and Incentives, was tagged by the Commission on Audit (COA) with the highest rating in the 2021 Annual Audit Report, was recognized as Outstanding Tech4Ed Center Calabarzon 2022, and was awarded the Emergency Financial Assistance Certificate of Recognition for being the first among the LGUs in the Laguna Cluster-A to accomplish 100 percent distribution of the Emergency Financial Assistance Funds. Moreover, the city is a holder of the Platinum and Gold Seal of Good Youth Governance and recognized as the Most Outstanding LGU in Laguna for Culture and Tourism.

              The city has also received awards in their programs that give back to our environment such as the Platinum Award for the Manila Bay Cleanup, Rehabilitation, and Preservation Program (MBCRPP) from DILG and the Best Solid Waste Management Implementer in the Province of Laguna from the Provincial Government of Laguna. Moreover, the LGU of Biñan is also ISO 9001:2015 certified through TQCSI Pty Ltd.

              Throughout the years, Biñan City has proven that good governance is an essential component in providing equal opportunities and fair delivery of services to its constituents, especially those who belong to the marginalized sectors of the society, thus mobilizing people of the LGU in the best direction possible.

              This in part could be attributed to the good working relationship between Biñan City’s triumvirate Rep. Len Alonte, Mayor Arman Dimaguila, and Vice Mayor Gel Alonte. The “Big Three,” as they are known in Biñan, meet regularly to make sure that the mission and vision of the city are met through the various projects and services.

              These awards are an affirmation that resources are properly utilized for its citizens to ensure sustainable development. The very characteristic of good governance is embodied by the city as it continually achieves the goals of local governance through the attainment of citations that recognize its efforts and inspires its citizens to be proud that they are part of the LGU’s plans.


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