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OGP Pattern

Our Story Philippine Open Government Partnership

As one of OGP’s founding countries, the Philippines has remained steadfast to its commitment in energizing civic spaces and public participation, enhancing inclusive digital revolution, amplifying discourses on anti-corruption, and strengthening transparency and accountability reforms. This is evidenced by the Philippines’ action plans built from the country’s eagerness to improve public services and upholding public integrity anchored on a paradigm which seeks to widen the spaces for citizens in their very own government, hold public leaders to account and ensure that the benefits of governance reach the grassroots in an immediate manner.

The PH-OGP process is characterized by participatory consultations, strong multi-sectoral partnerships, and open and constructive exchanges which has led to credibly implementing commitments which have positively affected bureaucratic efficiency, economic resiliency, and greater citizen participation in the country.

During its tenure in the OGP, the Philippines has successfully co-created and implemented five (5) national action plans with 65 commitments which responds to a broad range of national issues where, according to the IRM, more than half of its commitments have been ambitious and one-third of which documented early results in opening government, particularly regarding fiscal openness and the right to information[1]. These commitments and efforts coupled with the strong dedication and support of the PH-OGP Steering Committee[2] and champions and reformers in various national and local governance landscapes—from high-level political leaders, career officials, civil servants, and civil society actors– pivoted our country to be recognized as a global leader in the open government community.

The PH-OGP has won over the adversities of political transitions through a strong bureaucratic support from career officials which helped in gaining the trust of Administrations, and through the fact that it has positioned itself to be a potent and effective outreach platform of the government to the Filipino people. It offered opportunities for the citizens and the civil society to directly interact with government personalities and enable collaborative partnerships and formulation of targeted solutions to address the challenges on the ground. It might have been a great challenge to instill the values which OGP upholds especially during the pandemic where public accountability cannot be an afterthought but through PH-OGP, these unprecedented times did not bring about drastic effect in governance.

PH-OGP is just one of the many possible avenues through which open government policymaking can take place. It serves as a platform for cooperation that mobilizes and consolidates disparate reform initiatives, actors, and networks under the OGP banner and to leverage old and much-needed structural reforms. As part of OGP’s re-strategizing after a decade of the operationalization of the initiative, the OGP provided its member countries option to implement its action plan in two-year and four-year cycle. The Philippines, through Resolution No. 2, series of 2022 adopted the four-year action plan cycle for all its succeeding NAPs. This formalizes enmeshing OGP with existing processes and avenues to mobilize reform capital that creates a direct linkage between OGP and the government’s institutional agenda including those which cannot be enshrined in short-term commitments.

Institutionalization of the Philippine Open Government Partnership

In its aim to engage more government and non-government champions to advocate for open government approaches within their respective departments/agencies and sectors, the PH-OGP is currently drafting and lobbying for the issuance of an executive order which will institutionalize the PH-OGP in the country. This will ensure that open government reformers can more effectively leverage the processes, spaces, and resources of PH-OGP in order to drive progress towards a more open government.

Based on the emerging strategic directions of OGP, to deliver more effective and sustainable actions to current social concerns, OGP encourages to invest more in people by equipping them with the necessary skills they need to go beyond the OGP the action plans. Anent to this, the PH-OGP shall drive mainstreaming efforts to expand the extent of direct engagement of government and non-government reformers with the public to make OGP processes and spaces more resilient to the obstacles of reform in specific contexts.

 

[1] Independent Reporting Mechanism, The Philippines Co-Creation Brief 2022, p. 2

[2] Please see Annex A for the detailed composition of the PH-OGP Steering Committee