By Mary Grace Padin, September 10 2018; Philippine Star


Image Credit to Open Government Partnership

Watchdog Open Government Partnership (OGP) has commended the Philippines for improving and expanding its open government practices the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said.

In a letter to Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno, OGP chief executive officer Sanjay Pradhan lauded the efforts made by the Philippines under the DBM leadership to localize and promote OGP across local governments.

Pradhan said, the Philippines is a “pioneer” in localizing OGP, and that the OGP leadership is “keen to learn” from the country’s experiences in this area.

OGP is an initiative which aims to bring together government and civil society leaders to create action plans that make governments more inclusive, responsive and accountable.

The DBM, which hosts the country’s secretariat for OGP, organized six Open Government and Participatory Governance Regional Dialogues in the first quarter of the year. These dialogues gathered local governments and non-government organizations in 78 out of 81 provinces in the country.

As a result, the DBM said the local government units (LGUs) in Legazpi City, Albay, Bohol, Surigao del Norte and South Cotabato have committed to adopt open government programs.

These include the Freedom of Information Program, the 8888 Hotline, and the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.

Two Regional Development Councils (RDCs)—Region 5 and Region 11—also committed to support localization of national OGP commitments, and participate in co­creating new commitments for the next action plan, according to the DBM.

Meanwhile, Pradhan thanked Diokno 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 Philippines agreed to host a study tour for a delegation from Mongolia for the latter to study the country’s experience on OGP Action Plan implementation, mainstreaming, and localization efforts.

Last June, the Philippines also shared its experience in the implementation of an OGP action plan during a conference in Papua New Guinea.

Given its expertise, the Philippines is “positioned to build a strong regional coalition to identify and collectively implement the next generation of ambitious reforms,” Pradhan said in the letter.