Philippines-Open Government Partnership Week
DBM Central Office | May 8, 2018
Secretary Benjamin Diokno
Department of Budget and Management
To my fellow workers in government, members of civil society organizations, participants from various business groups, colleagues in the academe, good morning.
I am glad to see familiar faces here. I know a lot of you participated during the series of Open Government and Participatory Governance dialogues that were concluded recently. Now, I am pleased to welcome you again, this time in the halls of the Department of Budget and Management, the home of the Philippine Open Government Partnership Secretariat.
As many of you already know, the Philippines is one of the founding members of the Open Government Partnership or OGP, a multilateral initiative that promotes transparency, accountability, and citizen engagement in all aspects of governance. Under the Duterte administration, we continue to mainstream the OGP principles and mechanisms as overarching frameworks of governance reform in the Philippines. Today, we take part in the global celebration of the Open Government Week through this activity.
Due in part to the work we have continued to put into this partnership, there is growing recognition in both the local and international scene for Open Government. More than ever, mainstreaming and institutionalizing transparency, accountability and citizen engagement mechanisms at the national level has become appropriate for reforms to take root and to make their benefits concretely felt by the general public.
We started the conversation on localizing open government programs during our recent regional consultations. Today, we gather once more to have a more serious and in-depth conversation about the OGP subnational process.
Today is yet another activity that serves as testament to our government’s genuine commitment to work hand-in-hand with citizens. We have convened government and non-government stakeholders alike to collaborate and co-create subnational commitments in pushing for greater openness in the public sector. Later, a panel of our local government commitment holders, led by Vice Governor Harold Imperial of Albay and Vice Governor Junjun Egay Jr. of Surigao del Norte, will present to you the current status of our pilot subnational program on Open Local Legislation under the fourth PH-OGP National Action Plan.
In the afternoon, we will present to you our national OGP commitments, such as our Freedom of Information Program, 8888 Hotline, and the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. These commitments have subnational components that we encourage you to adopt.
Next year, we will be publishing a new national OGP plan, so let’s start the discussions on that process as early as now. Tomorrow, we hope to explore with you possible new commitments reflecting new levels of ambition for our next OGP planning cycle. Let’s talk about beneficial ownership and open contracting. Post your ideas and other topics you want to discuss on our Democracy Wall.
We will be breaking out into different groups to discuss these initiatives in more detail and explore possible areas of collaboration between and among government and non-government stakeholders moving forward.
To our local leagues and local government unit representatives who are here with us today, open government is not something new to you. As we have learned in our regional consultations, your experience in implementing many participatory governance mechanisms in your own communities has been extensive. This is good because citizen participation is most meaningful when it starts at the grassroots level.
So, during our discussions today and tomorrow, I hope we can weave the OGP narrative with what you are already doing. You are already doing amazing work on participatory governance, but as you would learn through our workshops, leveraging through the OGP platform can allow you to boost your goals and quicken your reforms.
What makes PH-OGP sessions like this fruitful has always been the active engagement of civil society organizations and the willingness of our government reformers to engage our different sectors in the work that they do. And so, I enjoin you to have an open mind and be a proactive participant of this undertaking. Through today’s forum, let us continue to make OGP a genuine platform of engagement, especially in mainstreaming meaningful implementation of open government mechanisms at the local government level. I hope that by the end of this event, you will take home with you ideas, learnings, and concrete solutions that will help you implement OGP in your localities.
Again, welcome to the DBM and the Philippine celebration of the Open Government Week. I look forward to what we will be able to come up with in the next two days. Thank you very much.