Budget Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno opened yesterday, 3 October 2016, the first Philippine Open Government Partnership (PH-OGP) Steering Committee Meeting under President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration.
The Philippines is one of the founding members of the OGP, a unique international initiative aimed at securing concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, increase civic participation, fight corruption, and harness new technologies that strengthen governance.
“Last September 20, I attended the 5-Year Anniversary Celebration of the Open Government Partnership at the margins of the 71st U.N. General Assembly in New York City. In that gathering of open government champions, it was clear that OGP is in the frontline of the revolution to change the culture of government,” Diokno said.
Present at the meeting were partners from the civil society, academe, public and private sectors, and continuing member agencies such as the Department of Interior and Local Government and the Department of Social Welfare and Development. Diokno also welcomed the new member agencies: the National Economic and Development Authority and the Office of the Cabinet Secretary.
One of the highlights of the meeting is the direction of Philippine OGP in the next few years. The new administration under President Duterte remains committed to continue, expand, and institutionalize participative governance reform initiatives. Part of this commitment is the development and implementation of the 3rd Philippine OGP National Action Plan.
With this, the PH-OGP Steering Committee will start leading the process of the development of the 2017-2019 PH-OGP National Action Plan.
Related OGP efforts from July to September 2016 are already unfolding under the auspices of the Duterte administration, including:
· Executive Order No. 02, s.2016, which operationalizes in the executive branch the people’s constitutional right to information was issued last 24 July 2016, just within a month after the official assumption into office of President Duterte. This supports the country’s commitment to pass a Freedom of Information (FOI) law and will add pressure to the passage of the bill by Congress.
· Hotline number 8888, a new national public feedback mechanism on government services launched in August 2017. This supports the Philippines’ OGP commitment to improve public service delivery through an effective feedback and monitoring mechanism under the Integrated Anti-Red Tape Program.
· The 10-point socio-economic agenda of the President also puts in front and center the improvement of the ease of doing business in the country, which is also one of the Philippines’ OGP commitments.
The 4th PH-OGP Action Plan Development Process aims to deepen the consultation process further, and especially engage the legislature to have a more proactive role in PH-OGP. With the help of local government units and civil society, it also seeks to strengthen subnational implementation and promotion of relevant PH-OGP commitments. The proposed new features include scoping research on platforms for civil society organization engagement, crowdsourcing, and social media campaign.