PH wins award in NY for govt-civil society ties

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For the second year in a row, the Philippines took home an international award for “innovation and commitment to open government and civil society partnerships.”

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The Philippines’ Grassroots Participatory Budgeting (GPB) program won a Gold Open Government Award at the 1st Open Government Awards of the Open Government Partnership (OGP), Palace deputy spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a news conference on Thursday.

The Philippines, she added, won third place, behind Denmark, which copped first place and Montenegro, which placed second.

“The GPB program is revolutionary because it offers an alternative to the usual top-down approach to budgeting by allowing communities and local government units to identify and advocate for their own projects, as deemed beneficial to their community, and which will be funded by the national government,” Valte said.

The OGP’s 1st Open Government Awards recognize innovative programs that expand and deepen citizen engagement.

Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman received the award.

The OGP, a movement comprising 64 governments and international and national civil society organizations, aims to deepen the practice of open government across its member- countries.

Countries that join OGP are required to identify specific commitments in making government more transparent, participatory and accountable.

The Philippines is a founding member of the OGP and currently sits in its Steering Committee.

Aside from the GPB program, Valte said the Philippines has committed to passage of the Freedom of Information Act and Open Data Philippines as part of its OGP Action Plan.

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