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OGPinas gains more advocates in Mindanao

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA) -- The Philippine Open Government Partnership (PH-OGP) is gaining momentum around the country as more advocates of good governance and public participation are joining the OGP bandwagon.

In the OGPinas! advocacy launched in Cagayan de Oro City, Sandino Soliman, the Executive Director of Caucus of Development NGO Networks (CODE NGO), said in a video message that he hadn't imagined government and non-government organizations could partner to make a better society.

But with the OGP, he said NGOs and civil society organizations were allowed to participate meaningfully in addressing pressing issues and monitoring government programs.

Soliman said his organization has been instrumental in conducting Dagyaw regional town hall meetings that seek to answer critical issues at hand. 

Open Government 1: Participants of the OGPinas! advocacy campaign launch in Cagayan de Oro City conducted by the DBM, DILG, and PIA on November 15, 2023. (DCC/PIA-10)

Led by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) in collaboration with the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and civil society partners, Dagyaw gathers the public and government in a space for dialogue to discuss pressing issues and relevant government programs.

Soliman said CODE NGO also participated in monitoring big-ticket government projects through DBM's Project DIME (Digital Imaging and Monitoring and Evaluation), which monitors the status of high-value government projects. 

"From that experience, we formulated recommendations to enhance Project DIME through a policy paper we submitted," he added. 

Soliman urged civil society organizations, academe, and businesses to collaborate in identifying the pressing issues, emphasizing the need for unity among different sectors to address these challenges.

He said that NGOs should find ways to seek invitations to public spaces, collaborate with Regional Development Councils, and engage with government agency regional offices to explore how they can participate in governance. 

CODE NGO is a coalition of development NGOs, people's organizations, and cooperatives in the country with 12 national and regional networks.

Like CODE NGO, the city government of Cagayan de Oro also supports the open government initiative. City Administrator Lawyer Roy Hilario Raagas explained that the letter "I" in the RISE Development Agenda of Mayor Rolando "Klarex" Uy stands for Institutional development and participatory governance.

"The city government's advocacy is to institutionalize reforms and programs on transparency, accountability, effective service delivery and efficiency in delivering service to the people," he said.

Cagayan de Oro City Administrator Atty. Roy Hilario Raagas conveys the support of Mayor Rolando "Klarex" Uy's administration in the campaign for transparency and participatory governance. (DCC/PIA-10)

The OGPinas! launched by the DILG, DBM, and the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) aims to raise awareness about the PH-OGP, enhance communication channels for government-civil society partnerships, and strengthen public participation in policy-making and governance.

The Cagayan de Oro leg of the campaign was participated by 195 representatives from local government units, civil society organizations, and state universities and colleges in regions 9, 10, and BARMM.

DBM-10 Regional Director Rudylia Parrel said the endeavor fosters collaboration, unity and collective action between the government, its stakeholders, and the people.

"Through the OGPinas! campaign, the Philippine government has taken a significant step towards bridging the gap between the government and the people. We firmly believe that a government closer to its citizens is better equipped to provide responsive and effective services that address the Filipino people's needs," Parrel stated. (APB/PIA-10)

DBM-10 Regional Director Rudylia Parrel calls on every stakeholder to make OGPInas an avenue for transformation, spreading awareness, and promoting a deeper understanding of the principles of good governance. (DCC/PIA-10)

About the Author

Apipa Bagumbaran

Assistant Regional Head

Region 10

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