Five delegates from the Philippines attended a two-day open government summit in London from October 31 to November 1 to present nine commitments “designed to strengthen transparency, accountability, and openness in the Philippine bureaucracy.”
“The Philippines’ attendance to the 2013 summit is an expression not only of our desire to strengthen our ex-isting commitments, but also to introduce new ways of opening the government up to increased transparency and citizen participation,” Budget Sec-retary Flo-rencio “Butch” Abad said, speaking from Manila.
The delegates included Abad, Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda and Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Undersecretary Richard Moya, Fiscal Planning Bureau Director Rolando Toledo and Budget Technical Service Director Car-mencita Mahinay.
The DBM said that the new commitments include a one-stop access website for all government data, available in single domain and open format which would make it easier to monitor government financial activities and to do business in the country.
The DBM said that this is in line with the government’s aim to sustain transparency, support passage of legislation on information and protection of whistleblowers, engage Filipinos in public auditing and enhance performance benchmarks of governance.
“Additionally, the Philippine government is continuing its commitment to enhance the government procurement system and strengthen grassroots participation in lo- cal planning and budgeting,” DBM said.
The summit was attended by more than 1,000 delegates and officials all over the world, which include civil society and multilateral organizations. Out of the 61 governments present, a total of 1,078 commitments to transpa- rency, accountability and citizen engagement were passed.
The event was devoted to share and interchange great ideas of better governance focusing on transparency and accountability.
Eight countries—who are the founding governments of the Open Government Partnership—launched their first Progress Reports that will look at the transparency efforts of the governments and their level of success in the area.
Other than the reports, the first Open Government Awards was also launched, which will look at the each of the countries’ performance in transparency, accountability and citizen responsiveness. The first actual awarding will be held next year.
“The goal to establish honest, effective and responsive governance is universal and more urgent than ever. It’s clear that Filipinos are ready to become our active partners in transforming government, and we recognize that we must open up the Philippine bureaucracy even further to make that possible,” Moya said.