The Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF) continued to carry out its role of helping improve the fiscal position of the local government units (LGUs) by professionalizing the country’s local treasury service.

In a statement Monday, Oct. 25, NiƱo Raymond Alvina, BLGF executive director, said 4,557 applicants have so far passed the competency examination program for local treasurers, which was implemented in partnership with the Civil Service Commission (CSC).

Of the applicants who have passed the exams, 4,116 were takers of the Basic Competency on Local Treasury Examination (BCLTE), while 441 took the Intermediate Competency on Local Treasury Examination (ICLTE) between December 2015 and October 2019.

“To date, 52 percent or 964 of the 1,853 appointed local treasurers and assistant treasurers are already BCLTE or ICLTE passers and 237 designated local treasurers are BCLTE passers,” Alvina said in his report to Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III.

The BCLTE and ICLTE are part of the required three-level Standardized Examination and Assessment for Local Treasury Service (SEAL) flagship program of the BLGF, which is an attached agency of the Department of Finance (DOF).

Successful BCLTE examines are conferred Local Treasurer Eligibility, while ICLTE passers are given SEAL 2 certification and are eligible to take the test for the highest level of certification—the Advance Competency for Local Treasury Service Examination (ACLTE), which was piloted in 2018.

Alvina said that from a baseline of 494 passers in December 2015, the total number of examinees who successfully took the competency exams increased by 722 percent, or an additional 3,128 BCLTE and 441 ICLTE passers.

For the 2020-2021 period, no exam was conducted by the CSC because of the pandemic, Alvina said in his report during a recent DOF executive committee meeting.

Alvina said that in compliance with Dominguez’s instructions, the BLGF gives weight to the SEAL examinations in processing permanent appointment of local treasurers and assistant treasurers.

Non-BCLTE passers are not designated as officer-in-charge (OIC) or acting local treasurer, except when the designee is already the regularly appointed assistant treasurer.

“I am pleased to inform that with our strong partnership and collaboration with the Civil Service Commission, the BCLTE was converted into an eligibility exam in 2017, which is equivalent to the civil service professional exam, and this is among the qualification standards in appointing our local treasurers,” Alvina said.

Under Dominguez, the DOF has so far appointed a total of 779 local treasurers since 2016, and is set to appoint 100 more in the fourth quarter of this year.

There are 531 existing vacancies in the local treasury service and the BLGF targets to have an additional 100 local treasurers appointed from October to December 2021, Alvina said.

“The balance accounts for those LGUs that are yet to process their local treasury appointments, and those only served by designated OICs or acting treasurers and assistant treasurers,” he added.

In 2017, the DOF and the CSC signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) to institutionalize the SEAL program, which aims to further professionalize and modernize the local treasury service.

The SEAL program focuses on tactical-operational competencies (Level 1), strategic-managerial competencies (Level 2), and leading-for-innovation competencies (Level 3), to instill a culture of excellence, integrity, and proficiency for the modern local treasury service.

Source: Manila Bulletin (