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
Bayanihan sa Kaunlaran sa CSJDM, Bulacan:Barangay Development Planning through Participatory Learning and Action
The Center for Popular Empowerment, together with the Sangguniang Barangay of Graceville and the local chapter of Akbayan! Citizens’ Action Party in the City of San Jose del Monte, Bulacan, conduct BDP-PLA which will facilitate the formulation of the 5 years comprehensive and multi-sectoral development program of Barangay Graceville. It will start on August 27-30, 2009. CPE acts as the capacity building partner and facilitator for the BDP-PLA process.
Punong Barangay Len Garcia, who is also a member of Akbayan, initiates a participatory process in development planning. “ We should involve people in identifying priority programs that will be funded by the local development fund. It is only through people’s participation that genuine development will be achieved, “ said the multi-awarded Punong Barangay.
The planning process will be participated in by not less than 50 community members, wherein issues , vision, goals and objectives, as well as projects, programs and activities will be slated for the barangay. The community will plan for the economic,
Unlike before, where annual investment plans are focused only on infrastructure projects, the BDP-PLA process will address and promote holistic and sustainable approach to local development. It will have an integrated and comprehensive plan on economic, environmental, physical/land use, social and institutional development sectors,” said Ed Chavez, Executive Director of CPE. He also added that the process to be done will be aligned with the Rationalized Local Planning System (RLPS)—the planning process being encouraged by the DILG, DBM and NEDA through the Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) that facilitates a simpler but participatory and rationalized process of local development planning in the country.
Akbayan Citizens Action Party also took part in the process because according to their local party leaders, participatory local planning and budgeting is part of their vision in pursuing participatory democracy. Gerry Bautista, local Chair of Akbayan in the city said that in progressive countries being ran by progressive political parties, participatory budget process helps in building alternatives and institutionalizing people’s participation in the development process.
The process can also facilitate the process of empowering citizenry because it will give them opportunities that may increase their self confidence in engaging the state by airing their views and ideas on how to pursue development and change in their situation
Participatory Local Development Planning in Mindanao for Peace and Development BDP-PLA in Zamboang Sibugay
Poverty remains to be major problem being experienced in the 16 municipalities of the province. In 2003, Zamboanga Sibugay, still part of Zamboanga del Sur, was one of the 10 poorest provinces in the country. There are now 76 provinces in the Philippines. Currently, the province is listed as still part of the 10 poorest provinces. The situation did not improve overtime because the province is still listed as one of the food poorest provinces. Even in terms of education, the province’s Net Enrolment Ratio went down drastically, having the largest decrease in 2006 at 12.1%. Poverty threshold also increased from
Php9,580 in 2003 to Php12,188 in 2006.
One major intervention to address the problem of poverty and delivery of services was for all the local government units to have a clear development plan. Priority programs were identified –from the barangay level, up to municipal and provincial. In 2008, the provincial administration, in partnership with the Center for Popular Empowerment (CPE), embarked on building the capacities of local governments and civil society organizations by formulating participatory barangay development planning and budgeting. This endeavour covered 150 barangays as pilot projects, out of the total 389 barangays in the province in 8 out of 16 municipalities.
However, amidst the inflow of various funds from donor agencies , local planning system in the province, as well as all of the municipalities, has been generally weak,. There is a lack of both horizontal linkages among sectoral concerns and vertical linkages (barangay to munic
ipalities, municipalities to barangay and vice versa). Plan-to-budget linkage was also found wanting.. To compound problems even more, the supposed body mandated by law to formulate comprehensive plans and integrate them—the local development councils—are mostly inactive. These factors lead to inefficient and ineffective delivery of basic services and allocation of local government resources.
Zamboanga Sibugay has 16 municipalities and 389 barangays.. These municipalities are Ipil, Kabasalan, Naga, R.T. Lim, Siay, Titay, Tungawan, Alicia, Buug, Diplahan, Imelda, Mabuhay, Malangas, Olutanga, Payao and Talusan. The whole province has a total of 101,131 households. There are 38,868 families categorized as poor families, according to 2006 survey of the National Statistics and Coordination Board. The province is home to diverse ethnic communities: Tausug, Subanen, Maguindanao, Samal, Kalibugan, Maranao and Yakan.
As to income levels, Zamboanga Sibugay is classified as third-class province. Among the sixteen (16) municipalities, one (1) is classified as second-class municipality, one (1) as second-class municipality, nine (9) are classified as fourth-class municipalities, and five (5) municipalities are classified as fifth class.
The partnership was established when Mr. Jet Hofer sought the assistance of CPE early 2009. A team was organized to
assist in the implementation of participatory local development planning and budgeting in 60 barangays in the province of Zamboanga Sibugay. The project head is Mr. Gromeo Bilugan, a veteran and trained BDP-PLA facilitator.
A pledging session is being prepared for October 2009. The pledging session is expected to bring in support and pledges from different agencies and institutions for the development programs of the pilot barangays.
The participatory local development planning in the province is a step towards realizing an accountable and responsive type of local governance. Being a province where traditional politics have reigned for decades, the process of people identifying themselves priority development programs is a welcome development in allocating budget and prioritizing projects by local governments. It also helps in the process of building empowered citizenry wherein people are being drawn in to participate in local decision-making process and analyzing their situation.
Bayanihan sa Kaunlaran sa Barangay 91-Zone 09 in Pasay City: Building Model of Effective Peoples Participation in Governance through Integrated Local Development Program
Punong Barangay Nilo Ilarina, together with the barangay council and the residents of Barangay 91, Zone 09, have created another innovative landmark program in promoting participatory governance practice. The barangay has formulated a comprehensive and multi-sectoral medium term development program for five years. It was done through the process of Barangay Development Planning through Participatory Learning and Action (BDP-PLA). CPE serves as their partner in capacity building. The Center also served as coach and mentor in the process of BDP-PLA.
In 2002, through the leadership of then Punong Barangay Hernando Jucutan, the barangay leadership initiated a process of participatory barangay development planning that will be implemented for 5 years (2002-2007). Almost 100% of the programs and projects identified and reflected in the plan was realized in 5 years.
After the 2007 election, the new barangay captain committed to pursue and continue and further improve what PB Jucutan has started. Being an advocate of empowering governance, PB Ilarina, led the new members of the barangay council in making a new 5 years BDP.
On October 25-27 , 2008, 30 facilitators and documenters were trained on BDP-PLA process. The training was co financed by the barangay council and CPE.
After the training, on November 8, 2008, the barangay council organized an orientation seminar on to mobilize community support for the initiative, and level off on the process and content of BDP-PLA process.
Six PLA teams were formed that will focus on each sectoral concerns. The barangay folks called them “clusters”. The clusters formed were based on a DILG memo which mandates barangay governments to develop a plan for the following sectors/clusters:
- Food Security, Health and Well-Being
- Economic , Livelihood and Entrepreneurship
- Education and Sports Development
- Peace and Order , Public Safety
- Environmental Management
- Barangay Performance / Administration
After the process of data gathering, analysis, visioning, setting of goals, objectives and programs, projects and activities, as well as its annual investment plan and annual operation plan.
The comprehensive plan was proudly presented by the members of the BDP PLA Team before the other community members in a barangay assembly held on July 1, 2009. It was attended by more than 500 members of the community. Amidst strong rains, the residents stayed on to listen to the report of the BDP PLA team and actively participated in the discussion.
Programs and projects identified in the plan are now being implemented one at a time. Support from the city government has also started to come in. Equipments for their ecological solid waste management program have been delivered by the city government.
IPG and CPE will assist also in the implementation of its health, livelihood and housing component. The process was also supported by other NGOs like CFSI and PCNPC.
Bayanihan Sa Kalunsuran (BAKAL II): Reducing Poverty in the Philippines through Participatory Urban Governance
Bayanihan Sa Kalunsuran or Bakal Project is a project being implemented by the Institute of Politics and Governance (IPG), a capability-building center that develops and undertakes education and training program for NGOs, POs and local communities to enable them to effect participatory democracy, people-centered development and good local governance. It has been accredited by the Civil Service Commission as a training institute for local governance practitioners
The project aims to strengthen and institutionalise participatory governance in 7 urban poor areas in the Philippines contributing to the implementation of the 1991 Local Government Code and the achievement of the MDGs. By providing training, knowledge, opportunities and resources to communities and local governments it will develop LGU-citizen’s co-financing and co-production of public service programmes—a participatory service delivery approach, and strengthen the abilities of communities and governments to undertake participatory governance. As a result urban poor communities will be able to articulate their needs, engage with and influence the political process and have access to the basic services they require especially at this time of the global financial crisis. The project will institutionalise participatory decision making mechanisms and processes, and build partnerships between Local Government Units (LGUs) and community based organisations.
Through a programme of training, advocacy, lobbying and gender awareness the project will work towards a more gender sensitive and less discriminatory public and political environment promoting women’s equal political participation and decision making.
The project builds on and consolidates the effective and groundbreaking work already being done in local governance by the Institute of Politics and Governance and the community organisations with which they work across the Philippines. After in-depth consultation with urban poor men and women the decision was taken to focus the project on livelihoods and health as the two most critical areas for action in meeting their immediate needs and the MDGs in their communities.
The project will work in seven urban areas throughout the Philippines including 3-5 areas in the National Capital Region, 3 areas in Cebu City, 3 areas in San Jose de Buenavista, Antique, 3-10 areas in Daraga, Albay, 3-10 areas in Zamboanga City and 2-3 areas in Cotabato City. This project will help develop and support some of the most advanced and effective local governance work in the region.
CPE is the program partner and implementer in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan and in the National Capital Region (NCR).
In San Jose del Monte, Bulacan, CPE will work with The Library Foundation- Sexuality, Health and Rights Educators (TLF-SHARE) together with the Barangay Health Workers (BHWs), Kaisahang Gabay ng Bayan (KAGABAY) and the Kamanggagawa Ko workers cooperative. The program components to be implemented will focus on health (STI, HIV, primary and community –based health care program), delivery of water services, housing and livelihood. The program will be supported by Councilors Nolly Concepcion and Igna Aguirre. During the program launching, Mayor Eduardo V. Roquero, M.D. gave its support for the implementation of the program.
In the National Capital Region, the BAKAL 2 Project will be implemented in three cities: Quezon City, Pasay City and Caloocan City.
In Quezon City, the project partner will be the Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL)- Women which will be implemented in Barangay Pasong Putik Proper. The co-production program will focus in livelihood development. The project will also ensure that the programs pledged by the city government in support of the barangay development program created by the POs and NGOs in the barangay will be delivered.
In Pasay City, the program will focus on integrated health development program which will particularly promote participatory feeding program, community-based primary health program by using alternative means (acupuncture, herbal medicines), and solid waste management program. Housing concerns will also be addressed, which was evidently expressed as a priority need of the residents. During the participatory planning process, they analyzed and realized that securing housing and land rights will pave way for the improved delivery of basic utilities such as water and electricity. Through the leadership of Punong Barangay Nilo Ilarina , Barangay 91, where the project will be implemented, has initiated a process of participatory barangay development planning (see related story).
In Caloocan City, the project will be implemented in Barangay 176 or popularly known as Bagong Silang, which is considered as the biggest barangay in the Philippines , with around one million population. it became a resettlement area during the administration of former President Marcos. Bakal 2 will help in promoting health and nutrition, especially among the children in the various day care centers operating in the barangay.
Bakal 2 will be implemented in two years, which is being supported by the One World Action (OWA), a London –based campaign organization on good governance and women empowerment.
On September 1, 2007, CPE gave a seminar on Empowering and Participatory Governance to 30 urban poor leaders who are partners of the Claretian Urban Poor Apostolate. .
The participants, mostly are representing urban poor associations that are now facing a threat of eviction and demolition once the Central Business Ditrict is started by the city government. Read more…
Here’s the Housing Platform that was approved by Akbayan! Citizens’ Action Party in its 3rd National Congress. We can use this as a guide in formulating our advocacies, campaigns and analysis in housing rights. CPE helped in creating this platform, through the leadership of Atty. Barry Gutierrez.