President's Message
Atty. Benedicta Du-Baladad Message from the President:

Benedicta Du-Baladad


To FINEX members and friends,

PRESIDENT’S REPORT
November 2017 Issue

We are now on the final stretch of 2017. This year has been one of the busiest and exciting for both FINEX and the country.

Earlier this month, our country was once again placed in the limelight as we hosted this year’s ASEAN Summit. The summit provided us to showcase what our country can share to the world and the creativity of the Filipino people. Indeed, the recent hosting of the ASEAN summit placed our country

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PH-OGP, The Philippine Open Government Partnership. Part 1.
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Santiago F. Dumlao Jr.By Santiago F. Dumlao Jr.

BUSINESS MIRROR (Free Enterprise)
September 20, 2017

PH-OGP, The Philippine Open Government Partnership. Part 1.

Finex Free Enterprise is a rotating column of members of the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines appearing every Wednesday & Friday in BusinessMirror, banking & finance Section.

Simply, we wish to bring to greater awareness this ongoing program that promises long-lasting positive influence to good governance in government, with the strong engagement of the private sector. Let the PH-OGP brochure say it in a capsule:

“The Philippines is one of the eight founding countries of the Open Government Partnership, a multi-lateral initiative that aims to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance. On September 20, 2011, during the formal launching of the OGP, the country’s leaders endorsed the Open Government Declaration and announced its country action plan in a formal ceremony at the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, USA.

“Today, the new administration under President Rodrigo Duterte remains committed to expand, deepen, and institutionalize on-going governance reform initiatives. Part of this commitment is the implementation of the 3rd Philippine OGP National Action Plan.

“Moving forward, the Philippines aims to develop a new PH-OGP Action Plan that is in line with the reform and partnership for change agenda of the new government. The plan is to deepen the consultation process further, include more branches in government, and give the citizens a proactive role in the PH-OGP process.”

A distinctive characterization of PH-OGP is the wide participatory engagement of public and private sectors – in the formulation of National Action Plans (NAP); in their implementation; in their monitoring; and in the evaluation of performance. The NAP consists of very specific projects as prioritized, identifying implementers in both government and private sectors, establishing 2-year cycle achievement goals, requiring performance documentation and reports not just to national but to international review boards or monitoring entities.

There is a national PH-OGP Steering Committee that exercises oversight functions over the development and implementation of the NAP, half of the membership from government and half from the private sector, emphasizing the multi-stakeholder cooperation. A participative structure of collaborative work is in place.

The PH-OGP has a Technical Working Group composed of technical representatives from DBM, DILG, NEDA, Office of the Cabinet Secretary and non-government Steering Committee members. All decisions, agreements and action items are documented and posted online through the OGP website.

Membership of non-government representatives in the Steering Committee is distributed by sector: 4 from Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in turn representing NCR, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao; 2 from Academe; 1 from Business (currently FINEX); and 1 from a Public Sector Union.

The international development partners of OGP include USAID, UNDP, ADB, World Bank, Make All Voices Count (MAVC) Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency.

In the 2015-2017 PH-OGP Plan, there were identified 13 Programs/Initiatives, most of which, by self-evaluation, were rated satisfactory in their fulfillment of commitments/targets. These programs are ongoing.

Let us choose one example from the PH-OGP Status Report Summary as of December 2016, to appreciate the value of this Partnership.

In the 2015-2017, PH-OGP Plan, the first Program/Initiative identified was the “Full Disclosure Policy” (FDP) under which there would be –

“Mandatory disclosure of key financial documents of LGUs (e.g. budget, procurement, and special purpose fund reports, such as Internal Revenue Allotments) in the FDP Portal and in at least 3 conspicuous places.”

The Commitments of the National Government through DILG, and of the Local Governments, through the Union of Local Authorities in the Philippines (ULAP), was for Provinces, Cities and Municipalities to be fully complying to the FDP at 75% participation by 2015, 80% by 2016 and 85% by 2017.

On the part of the private sector, through the Budget Advocacy Group (BAG), the Commitment was to use the uploaded data in the FDP portal in at least 5 regions and produce reports or data visualization.

As of 3rd Quarter 2016, the DILG and ULAP commitments had been fulfilled (80% full compliance). As to BAG’s commitment, local civil society organizations (CSOs) in 15 LGUs in 5 regions have been trained in analyzing selected FDP data. Development of one visualization is ongoing, as of year-end 2016.

In other words, commitments are being accomplished. The openness in reporting performance by LGUs is taking root, and as this openness creates its own momentum of compliance, in nation-wide observance, with national government support, and private sector continuing engagement and encouragement, an open government culture gets progressive traction. This is significant to allow citizen constituents to participate proactively in their own local government affairs – intelligently, and positively on a well-informed basis.

That’s grass roots democracy exemplified. Change is coming! Believe that.

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