Participation, Accountability and Transparency (PAT) Ordinance of Quezon City Passed by City Council
The Quezon City Council passed on third and final reading on July 20, 2009, PO 2008-111 entitled AN ORDINANCE STRENGTHENING AND INSTITUTIONALIZING THE SYSTEM OF PARTNERSHIP IN LOCAL GOVERNANCE BETWEEN THE QUEZON CITY GOVERNMENT AND THE PEOPLE OF QUEZON CITY.
The ordinance was filed by Quezon City District 3 Councilor Jorge “Bolet” Banal, Jr., and was pushed by Task Force PAT, a network of more than 200 organizations in Quezon City. CPE acts as the convener of the task force.
The measure which is also called PAT Ordinance of Quezon City, aims to establish the People’s Council of Quezon City (PCQC) which will serve as the self regulating umbrella organization of all accredited Civil Society Organizations and business/private organizations in the City. The PCQC will have a mechanism in selecting CSO/Private sector participation in the city development council, other local special bodies, task forces, and legislative committees. It aims to promote transparency in governance, accountability through effective allocation of resources and implementation of basic services through active people’s participation.
The ordinance is now awaiting the approval of Mayor Sonny Belmonte, also a promoter of good governance who brought the city back to life, to make the ordinance operational.
The ordinance was also advocated by the Council of Sectoral Representatives (CSR), the 50 NGO-PO Representatives to the City Development Council. It was claimed by CSR as one of its major accomplishments by institutionalizing people’s participation in city governance. La Salle Institute of Governance, through Mr. Mon Padilla also took active participation in the task force.
Press Release / Letters to the Editor
Philippine Daily Inquirer
July 30, 2009
The piece by Dr. Brillantes entitled, “Local Governance: Reform Stalled by Politics”, succinctly discusses the many obstructions that hinder effective local governance. Many local governments, for instance, are still adjusting and undoubtedly struggling with the costs of the various social service functions devolved to them by law. The spectrum of national-level directives ordering the implementation of nationally designed programs and interventions, without accompanying financial support, only further strains the economic resources of local governments. These issues, of course, may be remedied through the reform of relevant the statutes. The current mode of dividing the Internal Revenue Allotment of local governments, for instance, may be made more just and equitable. As Dr. Brillantes points out however, partisan politics have gotten in the way of reform measures such as this.
Despite the hurdles of present statutes and political partisanship, Dr. Brillantes also underscores the fact that several local administrations have still managed to excel through creative interventions. Some local governments, for instance, have improved their fiscal situation through improved revenue generation. Others have enhanced the relevance of their service delivery programs through extensive community consultations.
Just recently, the Quezon City Council passed an ordinance creating the People’s Council of Quezon City. The principal author of the ordinance, Councilor Jorge “Bolet” Banal, Jr., inspired by the Naga City People’s Council, envisions the People’s Council of Quezon City as the primary mechanism through which the citizens of Quezon City may help ensure that local governance can progressively become more participatory, accountable and transparent. The People’s Council of Quezon City, for instance, will facilitate the participation of NGOs, people’s organizations, church groups, and business associations in local policy formulation processes, thus enhancing the overall responsiveness of the city government. The People’s Council can also serve as the means through which local citizens may hold their local representatives accountable.
That Quezon City has progressed and developed under the leadership of Mayor Feliciano “SB” Belmonte, Jr. is unquestionable. Sound fiscal administration and strategic development planning has produced a vibrant, diverse, and progressive city. The People’s Council of Quezon City, as passed by the Sangguniang Panglungsod of Quezon City, may be seen as precisely the type of innovation necessary to overstep the present weaknesses of prevailing national statutes. Equally concrete, the People’s Council of Quezon City, once approved by the mayor, may be what is necessary to safeguard what Quezon City has already gained through the Belmonte Administration.
Ed Chavez, Convenor
Task Force PAT of Quezon City
25-B Matiyaga St., Bgy. Pinyahan, Quezon City
It’s time to promote ‘PAT’ in Quezon City now
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 01:50:00 08/11/2009
With the people of this country craving for good governance both at the national and local levels, there is a proposed ordinance in Quezon City, which seeks to promote people’s participation, accountability and transparency (PAT) in local governance.
Inspired by the experience of the Naga City People’s Council, Councilor Bolet Banal filed in August last year an ordinance that would create the People’s Council of Quezon City. The ordinance will also allow other task forces, councils and special bodies, including legislative committees, to be represented in the council (wherein civil society and the private sector are already represented). Through the People’s Council, the people will have the opportunity to exercise their right to public information and to participate in the social and political decision-making processes.
The ordinance, once passed and approved, will be a true people’s ordinance because it has gone through a series of public consultations—conducted in the communities—during which inputs from various sectors were considered as part of the process of improving the ordinance.
The ordinance is now being readied for second reading, to which it was reverted for content-enhancement. Task Force PAT and the Council of Sectoral Representatives humbly ask our city councilors and Mayor Feliciano Belmonte Jr. to pass and approve the measure. We would like to ensure that the city’s ability to deliver services, which has improved under the current administration of Mayor Belmonte and Vice Mayor Herbert Bautista, will undergo more improvements, with the people participating in the identification of programs and allocation of the city budget. The measure, once approved, will also safeguard that whatever the Belmonte administration has built will be sustained. It will be another landmark ordinance and a legacy of the current set of city officials to the people of Quezon City.
Through the PAT ordinance, the people will become active partners in the governance of the city’s affairs, by promoting accountability and transparency. This will lead to a more effective delivery of basic services, the basic characteristics of good governance. If we can’t make it happen immediately at the national level, we can start at the local level. From Naga City to Quezon City, this ordinance will make possible the making of completely a Quality City.
convenor, Task Force PAT,
executive director, Center for Popular Empowerment (CPE),
vice chair-internal, Council of Sectoral Representatives to the
City Development Council,
25-B Matiyaga St. Barangay Pinyahan, Quezon City