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Balanga City and the Municipality of Baliwag completed the National Inter-Agency Committee (NIAC) validation on July 18 and 19 for the Manila Bayanihan Awards and Incentives (MBAI). MBAI is an annual awards program initiated by DILG to recognize local government units that showcase high compliance to the Manila Bay Clean-up, Rehabilitation and Preservation Program (MBCRPP).

 Balanga City and the Municipality of Baliwag were nominated for the national validation after being proclaimed as regional top performers for the city and municipality categories in this year's MBAI. After placing second in their respective categories at the 2020 MBAI, both Local Government Units (LGUs) are vying for the national top performer spot this year.

The NIAC Validation Team, composed of representatives from nine national government agencies, visited the two LGUs to conduct the table assessment and onsite inspection. During the activity, the NIAC Validation Team assessed the LGUs' performance based on the four outcome areas of MBCRPP as well their best environmental practices or initiatives within their jurisdiction.

After the two-day validation in the region, the NIAC Validation Team will proceed with the MBAI validation of other regional top performing LGUs in NCR and Region IV-A. The other LGUs competing for the national top performer award for the city category are the City of Bi├▒an (Region IV-A) and Makati City (NCR) while the Municipality of Kalayaan (Region IV-A) competes for the municipal category.

The results of the national validations are expected to be released by the Manila Bay Program Management Office in the last quarter of the year. The national top performers shall receive a cash prize of P1M and will be awarded during the Manila Bayanihan Awards and Incentives awarding ceremony later this year.