As NGO partner of the Provincial Government of South Cotabato in the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Local Program, Mahintana Foundation, Inc., represented by Mr. Jobe C. Tubigon, Operations Manager, participated in the OGP Week on May 8-9, 2018 at DBM Multipurpose Hall, Manila. “OGP Going Local: Bringing Government Closer to the Citizens” was the theme of the event. The event was aimed at showcasing successful localization efforts on open governance and transparency initiatives of government at the national and local government level and co-creating new OGP sub-national commitments for the next OGP action plan development cycle.
This nationwide activity was co-organized by the DBM (OGP Secretariat), PCOO, DOF, PH-EITI, Hivos, CODE-NGO and Bantay Kita. At least 80 delegates/representatives from the national line agencies, LGUs and CSOs business sector across the country participated in the 2-day activity. Notable dignitaries from the national government who graced the event include Sec. Benjamin Diokno of the DBM, Usec. Austere Panadero of the DILG and Asec. Kris Ablan of the PCOO. Updates on the results of the Global Call on OGP Local Program (5 slots) and the national and local government commitments on OGP were presented which include, among others, the Open Legislation, Freedom of Information (FOI), 8888 Hotline, Extractive Industries,/Beneficial Ownership, and Open Contracting.
During the event, it was proudly announced by the OGP secretariat that from a global call issued by the OGP International and after a competitive selection process (at least 100 global applicants), the Province of South Cotabato qualifies and is included in the five new local governments to be part of the OGP Local Program for 2018. The other sub-national governments which qualified in the OGP Local Program are the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country in Spain, the Romanian city of Iasi, the Colombian Department of Nariño, and the state of Kaduna in Nigeria. South Cotabato is the only LGU in the Philippines which qualified under the global OGP Local Program. Other LGUs from the Philippines such Bohol, Bataan, and Muntinlupa City submitted their expressions of interest for the global OGP Local Program but were not considered. This means that South Cotabato will represent the Philippines in the global OGP Local Program and other future international OGP events. The Province will also join the cohort of 15 OGP Local existing participants who will co-create with civil society an Action Plan for 2018-2020.
On the results of the workshops, PLGU South Cotabato has considered the following commitments: (1) Open Contracting/Procurement, (2) Open Minahang Bayan/Beneficial Ownership, (c) Open Information (i.e. localize FOI), and (d) Open Monitoring and Evaluation (ODK-based project monitoring, CSIS).