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 is identified as the main consultation platform of the Participatory Governance Cluster (PGC) of the Cabinet, created via Executive Order No. 24, series of 2016, whose primary mandate is centered on bridging the Philippine government to the citizenry through active public engagement. This positioned PH-OGP to contribute in the country’s institutional agenda through its linkage to various governance frameworks such as the Sustainable Development Goals and the Philippine Development Plan.
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. These commitments and efforts coupled with the strong dedication and support of the PH-OGP Steering Committee 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.
A Decade of Openness and Transformative Results: The Philippines Success Story in Open Government Partnership
Even prior to the joining the OGP, the Philippines has already facilitated higher levels of state-civil society engagement. This is evident through the Department of Education’s reform project called Textbook Count in 2002 where civil society monitors the entire procurement cycle of textbooks including observing in the pre-bidding, bidding, and post-qualification process; inspecting warehouses and printing presses; and monitoring delivery of textbooks in schools to detect and prevent corruption. This resulted to a more efficient procurement process and cutting the price of textbooks by 40%, resulting in savings of approximately to Php 72.8 million.
Bureaucratic support and civil society influence are imperative to the success of reforms which is why this pre-existing civil society-state relationship in the Philippines helped enable the implementation of OGP’s commitments. The OGP presented an additional opportunity for formalizing anterior proactive efforts in opening government and mobilizing coalitions to bring to the government issues that matters on the ground. This has resulted to various reforms which have produced impactful and irreversible reforms.
In 2015, the Philippines committed in its 4th NAP a reform to reduce bureaucratic red tape in the cost of doing business. This reform program significantly improved the country’s ranking in the World Bank’s Doing Business Report, from 138 out of 189 countries in 2013 to 108 in 2014 and 95 in 2015. This improved the country’s business climate and increased investment by 10% over the same period.
The Citizen Participatory Audit (CPA) of the Commission on Audit became a globally recognized program being hailed as an OGP Bright Spot Awardee in 2013 and first place winner in the Asia and the Pacific in the OGP Impact Awards in 2015 for its ambitious initiative of opening up the state’s auditing process to the citizens to ensure greater efficiency and effectiveness in the use of public resources.
Through the Philippines strong commitment in the implementation of the Extractives Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), the country was recognized to be the first among over 50 countries to have achieved a satisfactory progress in the implementation of the 2016 EITI Standard.
To respond to the challenge of transparency, service delivery, and local government capacity, the Department of the Interior and Local Government committed the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) in 2014 to serve as a guide to local governments on how to better deliver government services. This supported continuous capacity-building to support LGUs.
In 2016, the country’s commitment to right to information was even more solidified through the issuance of Executive Order No. 2 which operationalizes people’s right to information and mandating the executive branch to full disclosure and transparency in the public service, thereby creating the Freedom of Information Program being managed by a project management office (PMO) in charge in undertaking efforts and initiatives towards the legislation of the FOI Bill.
The International Budget Partnership (IBP) also recognized the Philippines in 2021 to be the one of the four countries and the only Asian country to have achieved adequate level of accountability in its early COVID-19 fiscal policies driven by the Department of Budget and Management’s commitment to fiscal openness enshrined in its Fiscal Openness Program. This is conducted along with the Open Budget Survey 2021 where the country’s score remained above the global average which positioned the Philippines within the top 30 over 120 participating countries and a leader in the ASEAN Region in terms of budget transparency or Open Budget Index, public participation, and budget oversight.
Testament to the country’s high-level commitment in the Partnership, the Philippines was qualified to receive support in its open government initiatives and passed the stringent process of the OGP Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) in 2019. The MDTF was established with support from development partners and the World Bank to provide OGP eligible countries and locals an additional mechanism to access enhanced support with the aim of seeing if such support could help strengthen OGP processes or lead to more credible delivery of reform.
 PGC Resolution No. 1, series of 2022, Acknowledging the Contributions of PH-OGP in the Realization of the Goals of the PGC to Enhance Citizen Participation in Government Processes as Outlined in Executive Order No. 24, s. 2017
 Please see Annex A for the detailed composition of the PH-OGP Steering Committee
 Open Government Partnership, What is Working?: Key OGP Reforms, Strategic Refresh of the Philippine Open Government Partnership, December 2016, p. 8
 The Extractives Industries Transparency Initiative is a global standard that promotes open, accountable management, and good governance of oils, gas, and minerals resources. The implementation of the EITI in the Philippines was created through Executive Order No. 147, s. 2013.
 The Philippines scored 68/100 (vs the global average of 45) in budget transparency, 35/100 (vs the global average of 14) in public participation, and 78/100 (vs the global average of 52) in budget oversight. Full report can be accessed in the International Budget Partnership website or through this link.
 Open Government Partnership, Launch of the OGP Multi-Donor Trust Fund Support to OGP Participants, January 2019