The Philippines receives yet another nod from the Open Government Partnership (OGP) leadership for improving and expanding its open government practices under DBM Secretary Benjamin Diokno’s term, further cementing the country’s position as a global leader in Open Government.
In a letter to Secretary Diokno, OGP Chief Executive Officer Sanjay Pradhan lauded the Philippines’ “impressive efforts made under [Secretary Diokno’s] leadership to localize and promote OGP [...] across local governments”.
In the first quarter of the year, the Department of Budget and Management, home of the Philippines’ Secretariat for OGP, organized six Open Government and Participatory Governance Regional Dialogues that gathered local governments and non-government organizations in 78 out of 81 provinces in the country.
As a result of these dialogues, five Local Government Units (LGUs)—Legazpi City, and the provinces of Albay, Bohol, Surigao del Norte, and South Cotabato—have committed to adopt open government programs such as Freedom of Information Program, 8888 Hotline, and the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. Two Regional Development Councils (RDCs)—specifically, Region 5 and Region 11—also committed to support localization of national OGP commitments, and participate in co-creating new commitments for the next action plan.
Through the current National Action Plan, local governments have already made their stamp in OGP with the inclusion of the Open Local Legislative Process initiative, the first time that LGUs have a commitment under the country action plan. The local governments of Albay, Bohol, and Surigao Del Norte targets to set up online mechanisms to open up their local legislative process to the wider public for feedback and comments.
According to OGP CEO Pradhan, the Philippines is a “pioneer” in localizing OGP, and that the OGP leadership is “keen to learn from [our] experiences” in this area.
Philippines to lead region for next generation of reforms
CEO Pradhan also thanked the Secretary for supporting peer exchange with other OGP countries, particularly Mongolia and Papua New Guinea.
During the OGP Global Summit held in Tbilisi, Georgia last July, the Philippine delegation led a session that tackled cross-country experiences in going local with OGP and improving public service delivery. In addition, the Philippines also hosted a bilateral meeting with the Government of Mongolia. It was agreed then that the Philippines would host a study tour for a delegation from Mongolia, for the Mongolians to benchmark on the Philippines’ experience on effective OGP Action Plan implementation, mainstreaming, and localization efforts.
Last June, the Philippines’ Point of Contact, Marianne Fabian served as a resource speaker in the High Level OGP Conference in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea and shared the country experience in OGP action plan co-creation and implementation.
Given its expertise, the Philippines is “positioned to build a strong regional coalition to identify and collectively implement the next generation of ambitious reforms”, CEO Pradhan said in the letter.