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Philippines Design and Implementation Report 2017-2019

The Philippines’ fourth action plan modestly increased citizens’ access to information, particularly in regard to the budget process, extractive industries, and local government spending. Despite substantial completion, open government gains were modest. Going forward, the Philippines’ can achieve stronger reforms by raising commitments’ level of ambition and ensuring legislative support.

Table 1. At a glance

Participating since: 2011

Action plan under review: Fourth

Report type: Design and Implementation

Number of commitments: (Commitments #2 and #4 have 2 subcomponents that the IRM assesses independently here).

Action plan development

Is there a Multistakeholder forum: Yes

Level of public influence:  Involve

Acted contrary to OGP process: No

Action plan design

Commitments relevant to OGP values:     13 (100%)

Transformative commitments                     1 (8%)

Potentially starred:                                     0

Action plan implementation

Starred commitments: 0

Completed commitments: 1

Commitments with Major DIOG*: 2

Commitments with Outstanding DIOG*: 0

Level of public influence:  Involve

Acted contrary to OGP process: No

*DIOG: Did it Open Government

The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a global partnership that brings together government reformers and civil society leaders to create action plans that make governments more inclusive, responsive, and accountable. The Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) monitors all action plans to ensure governments follow through on commitments. Philippines joined OGP in 2011. Since then, Philippines has implemented four action plans. This report evaluates the design and implementation of Philippines’ fourth action plan.

General overview of action plan

The Philippines’ fourth action plan saw high levels of completion but moderate open government advancements. This aligns with the fact that 8 of the 13 commitments were of minor ambition. While PH-OGP facilitated a broad consultation process, the final action plan predominantly reflects government priorities. Regardless, civil society remained engaged from commitment design through implementation.

Some notable governance reforms were implemented, particularly in regard to access to information and civic dialogue. Government agencies established eFOI portals to facilitate more efficient responses to citizen requests (commitment 5). Additionally, the government’s creation of an Assistance to Disadvantaged Municipalities portal increased citizen access to information on local infrastructure projects (Commitment 1).

A starred commitment must meet several criteria:

  • The commitment’s design was Verifiable, Relevant to OGP values and had a Transformative potential impact, as assessed at the design stage of the action plan.
  • The commitment’s implementation was assessed by the IRM as Substantial or

On the basis of these criteria, Philippines’ action plan has 0 starred commitments.

Table 2. Noteworthy commitments 

Commitment description Status at the end of the implementation cycle
Commitment 4A: Engage and empower citizenry through an effective government feedback mechanism During the implementation period, the president continued to promote Hotline 8888 and encourage agency compliance. The government also published reports on citizen complaints and the government’s response. These activities marginally contributed to the hotline’s aim to enable citizens to voice complaints about red-tape regulations and corruption in public service delivery.
Commitment 7: Increase public integrity and more effectively manage public resources through budget reforms From 2017 to 2019, the government continued its positive trajectory toward greater budget transparency, including publishing a midyear budget review. However, the Budget Reform Bill was not passed. While CSOs participated in consultations for the implementing rules and regulations, it is not clear how their presence influenced the IRR’s content. Consequently, activities under this commitment were evaluated to have marginally contributed to open budget reforms.
Commitment 8: Improved transparency and increased accountability in the extractive industries Commitment implementation resulted in the substantial release of information about the extractives industry in the Philippines and supported CSO assessments of this information. However, EITI was not institutionalized into law as planned. Additionally, there is no evidence of greater inclusion of Indigenous Peoples in extractives governance.


Five Key IRM Recommendations

The IRM provided the following recommendations to stakeholders in the Philippines during the prepublication review phase of the design section of this report. They are recorded here for public record. Please see the IRM’s 2019–2021 Design Report for the most recent IRM recommendations.

1.     Design commitments to clearly articulate a theory of change.
2.     Increase the ambition of commitments, particularly by enhancing public accountability elements in recurring commitments and by exploring new areas.
3.     Strengthen the protection of civic space by establishing independent investigation mechanisms, withdrawing restrictive legislation, and building trust among civil society.
4.     Lobby for greater legislative support by raising awareness and advocating open government principles among members of Congress.
5.     Strengthen the monitoring of commitments to facilitate effective implementation.



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