The following text was contributed by the Government of Philippines.
After having suffered through a decade when corruption and impunity flourished in government, an exasperated Filipino people opted for change. They elected a reluctant President committed to a platform of "Kung Walang Corrupt, Walang Mahirap" (No Corrupt, No Poor).
From the very start, the Administration acknowledged that reform would not succeed if it was undertaken by government alone. The support and participation of the people was needed to counter powerful political and economic interests that would oppose and derail reform efforts. It was only through an open government that the people could participate and own reform efforts.
Amidst much political opposition in the early part of the administration, government launched a battery of initiatives aimed at strengthening transparency, participation and accountability in government. Such initiatives include the disclosure of financial and budgetary information, participatory budgeting and participatory audits, running after corrupt revenue officials, sending corrupt senior officials to jail, adoption of new technologies to improve transparency and accountability in government procurement, and incentive programs to promote good governance among local governments.
Three years into the administration, we are now beginning to reap the benefits of open government - our President enjoys an unprecedented sustained trust rating of over 70% and the country has received its very first investment grade.
In the second half of the Aquino Administration, the challenge will be to ensure that more people, especially the poor and those in the margins, directly benefit from the dividends of an open government. This will require greater commitment from both government and non-government reform champions and stakeholders, to ensure that open government practices take root in the bureaucracy and become the norm in government.