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Philippines

Transparency of Local Govs Plans and Budgets (PH0030)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Philippines National Action Plan 2015 – 2017

Action Plan Cycle: 2015

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG)

Support Institution(s): Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP). Budget Advocacy Group

Policy Areas

Fiscal Transparency, Subnational

IRM Review

IRM Report: Philippines End-of-Term Report 2015-2017

Starred: No

Early Results: Major Major

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Uninformed local government constituents on how the local budget is managed, disbused and utilized. There is a need to create ways on how to effectively and efficiently utilize the uploaded data in the FDP Portal. Main objective is to Increase public access to financial documents/transactions of local government units to ensure transparency and accountability among LGUs. This commitment is relevant in promoting transparency as it provides public access to financial documents of the local governments for more intensive data processing of the LGU financial reports. The intended result is the culture of transparency among local government units built by ensuring regular public disclosure of key financial documents. Public access to this information is a pre- requisite to effective citizen engagement.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

2. Transparent local government plans and budgets

Commitment Text:

· Uninformed local government constituents on how the local budget is managed, disbursed and utilized

· There is a need to create ways on how to effectively and efficiently utilize the uploaded data in the FDP Portal.

Main objective is to Increase public access to financial documents/transactions of local government units to ensure transparency and accountability among LGUs. This commitment is relevant in promoting transparency as it provides public access to financial documents of the local governments for more intensive data processing of the LGU financial reports. The intended result is the culture of transparency among local government units built by ensuring regular public disclosure of key financial documents. Public access to this information is a pre- requisite to effective citizen engagement.

Responsible institution: Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG)

Supporting institutions: Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP), Budget Advocacy Group (BAG)

Start date: 1 January 2015

End date: 31 December 2017

Commitment Aim

This commitment aimed to continue to promote transparent disclosure policies at the local government level through the Full Disclosure Policy (FDP) of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG). The FDP requires provinces, cities, and municipalities (PCMs) to fully disclose certain financial transactions and inform their constituents how local government budgets are managed, disbursed, and used. Specifically, the commitment set out to raise the percentage of local governments that comply with FDP requirements to 85 percent, to encourage local government units (LGUs) to upload documents in open formats (machine readable), and to ensure that civil society makes use of the data available on the portal. This commitment is intended to improve local governance, deter corruption, and build trust.

Status

Midterm: Substantial

By the Midterm assessment, substantial progress had been made toward completing this commitment. There was a considerable increase in the number of local governments complying with FDP (1,216 PCMS in 2016), though additional work was needed to ensure that FDP data was published in useful and usable formats for citizens (open formats).[Note: Focus Group Discussion, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Officials. Held on 24 October 2016 at DILG Office, Quezon City.] The online portal remained up-to-date since it was launched in November 2012.[Note: Full Disclosure Policy (FDP) Data Portal http://fdpp.blgs.gov.ph/. ] The Budget Advocacy Group, a coalition of CSOs, had begun to use FDP data to produce data visualizations and reports, a process that was still ongoing.

End of term: Substantial

The online portal remains active. One of the pending deliverables was accomplished in the second year of the action plan: recently uploaded documents (the third quarter of 2016) are now available in open format. According to the end-of-term self-assessment report, the targeted number of PCMs[Note: Excluding those PCMs in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM)] (1,592) are uploading the required documents in open format via the FDP portal. INCITEGov, who convenes the Budget Advocacy Group, the co-commitment holder from civil society, reported that they did not reach the target of training civil society groups in five regions. This was because of funding constraints.[Note: INCITEGov. Response to the Questionnaire of the IRM Researcher for the End of Term Report. Sent on October 13, 2017.] Though trainings have been conducted, it is not yet clear how these data are being used and whether they have improved the capacity of CSOs to engage with the government.

Did It Open Government?

Access to Information: Major

The previous end-of-term report indicated that 79.1 percent of all LGUs were in compliance with the FDP as of the second quarter of 2015.[Note: Philippines Self-Assessment Report: national action plan 2013-2015: Year 1 Report, (October 2015), http://www.gov.ph/governance/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/PHL-OGP-2nd-plan_assessment-report_as-of-October-2015_v2.pdf.%5D By June 2017, the compliance rate had increased to 98 percent of the target number. The increasing number of FDP-compliant LGUs indicates that the practice of proactively disclosing information is becoming more common across LGUs all over the Philippines. The Budget Advocacy Group’s efforts to use the information on the FDP portal for advocacy indicates that there is an awareness among civil society that data are available that can be utilized for engagement. This is a major step toward transparency at the local level, which used to be largely closed and unresponsive to the public. However, the usefulness and usability of information remains a problem. As Adrienne Alquiros of De La Salle University’s Jesse M. Robredo Institute of Governance (DLSU-JRIG) shared in the focus group discussion, the creation of the online portal was an innovative idea. It assumed that if government information was available online it could be easily accessed by the public. However, this idea suffers from two weaknesses: (1) poor Internet connectivity in the Philippines, and (2) ordinary citizens being unable to understand the documents that are available because they are too technical.[Note: Documentation Report. Roundtable discussion on ‘Did it Open Government’ organized by Government Watch. October 12, 2017.] Therefore, while public uptake is not strictly speaking a determining factor in the question of “Did it Open Government,” it is recommend that improving the usability of disclosed data be carried forward in the next action plan.

Carried Forward?

This commitment has not been carried forward in the next action plan. For this commitment to contribute to a more significant impact, local government financial information must be used by capable citizens to check performance and to hold public officials to account. If this was achieved, it could be a major step forward in enhancing public integrity and stimulating effective and efficient use of public resources, leading to improved public services delivery. It is crucial to sustain the compliance of local government to FDP and find sustainable ways for citizen use of the FDP data that can start by improving awareness of local/grassroots ownership of this program.


Philippines's Commitments

  1. Civil Society Participation to Improve LGU Service Delivery

    PH0042, 2017, Capacity Building

  2. Engage Communities in the Fight Against Corruption, Criminality and Illegal Drugs

    PH0043, 2017, Capacity Building

  3. Ease of Doing Business:Competitiveness

    PH0044, 2017, Legislation & Regulation

  4. Ease of Doing Business: Philippines’ Anti-Red Tape Challenge)

    PH0045, 2017, Capacity Building

  5. Citizen Participatory Audit)

    PH0046, 2017, Audits and Controls

  6. 8888 Citizens’ Complaint Center

    PH0047, 2017, Public Participation

  7. Government Feedback Mechanism

    PH0048, 2017, Capacity Building

  8. Access to Information Legislation

    PH0049, 2017, Capacity Building

  9. e-Participation Through the National Government Portal

    PH0050, 2017, Citizenship and Immigration

  10. Open Budget Index and Budget Reform Bill

    PH0051, 2017, E-Government

  11. Philippine Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative

    PH0052, 2017, Beneficial Ownership

  12. Institutional Mechanisms for Disaster Response

    PH0053, 2017, E-Government

  13. Shelter Development for Informal Settler Families

    PH0054, 2017, E-Government

  14. Open Local Legislative Processes

    PH0055, 2017, E-Government

  15. Law on ATI

    PH0029, 2015, Right to Information

  16. Transparency of Local Govs Plans and Budgets

    PH0030, 2015, Fiscal Transparency

  17. Open Data

    PH0031, 2015, Open Data

  18. Extractive Industries' Transparency

    PH0032, 2015, Extractive Industries

  19. CSO Engagement in Public Audit

    PH0033, 2015,

  20. Civic Enagement in Local Budget Planning

    PH0034, 2015, Participation in Budget Processes

  21. Civic Enagement in Local Budget Planning – Community Capacity-Building

    PH0035, 2015, Capacity Building

  22. Improving Public Service Delivery

    PH0036, 2015, Public Participation

  23. Improving Local Govs' Performance

    PH0037, 2015, Capacity Building

  24. Improve the Ease of Doing Business

    PH0038, 2015, Private Sector

  25. Local Government Competitiveness

    PH0039, 2015, Capacity Building

  26. Public and Private Sector Dialogue

    PH0040, 2015, Private Sector

  27. Improving Corporate Accountability

    PH0041, 2015, Private Sector

  28. Sustain Transparency in National Government Plans and Budgets

    PH0020, 2013, E-Government

  29. Support for the Passage of Legislations on Access to Information and Protection of Whistleblowers

    PH0021, 2013, Legislation & Regulation

  30. Engage Civil Society in Public Audit

    PH0022, 2013, Public Participation

  31. Enhance Performance Benchmarks for Local Governance

    PH0023, 2013, Capacity Building

  32. Enhance the Government Procurement System

    PH0024, 2013, E-Government

  33. Strengthen Grassroots Participation in Local Planning and Budgeting

    PH0025, 2013, Participation in Budget Processes

  34. Provide More Accessible Government Data in a Single Portal and Open Format

    PH0026, 2013, E-Government

  35. Starred commitment Initiate Fiscal Transparency in the Extractive Industry

    PH0027, 2013, Extractive Industries

  36. Starred commitment Improve the Ease of Doing Business

    PH0028, 2013, Private Sector

  37. Disclose Executive Budgets

    PH0001, 2011, Fiscal Transparency

  38. Access to Information Initiative

    PH0002, 2011, Right to Information

  39. Broader CSO Engagement

    PH0003, 2011, OGP

  40. Participatory Budget Roadmap

    PH0004, 2011, Participation in Budget Processes

  41. Local Poverty Reduction

    PH0005, 2011, Subnational

  42. Empowerment Fund

    PH0006, 2011, Capacity Building

  43. Social Audit

    PH0007, 2011, Public Participation

  44. Results-Based Performance

    PH0008, 2011, Capacity Building

  45. Performance-Based Budgeting

    PH0009, 2011, Capacity Building

  46. Citizen’S Charters

    PH0010, 2011, Capacity Building

  47. Internal Audit

    PH0011, 2011, Audits and Controls

  48. Single Portal for Information

    PH0012, 2011, E-Government

  49. Integrated Financial Management System

    PH0013, 2011, E-Government

  50. Electronic Bidding

    PH0014, 2011, E-Government

  51. Procurement Cards

    PH0015, 2011, Open Contracting and Procurement

  52. Manpower Information System

    PH0016, 2011, E-Government

  53. Expand the National Household Targeting System (NHTS)

    PH0017, 2011, Public Participation

  54. e-TAILS

    PH0018, 2011, E-Government

  55. Budget Ng Bayan

    PH0019, 2011, Fiscal Transparency