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South Cotabato, Philippines

Open Legislation (COT0005)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Not Attached

Action Plan Cycle: 2018

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: Provincial Government of South Cotabato – Sangguniang Panlalawigan Office and Office of the Vice Governor

Support Institution(s): Senior Accountable Officer: Hon. Vicente R. De Jesus – Vice Governor +639209622158 +6383-2283448 Technical Focal Person: Felicitas F. Bigcas, Secretary to the Sanggunian +6383-2282338 Partner CSO: Mahintana Foundation, Inc. Martiniano Magdolot - +639173059060 Jobe Tubigon - +639173059063 Media Partners: Tri-media Association Partner LGU Offices: PPDO- ITU, PIO

Policy Areas

E-Government, Gender, Legislation & Regulation, Legislature, Marginalized Communities, Media & Telecommunications, Public Participation, Public Service Delivery, Subnational, Sustainable Development Goals

IRM Review

IRM Report: Pending IRM Review

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Pending IRM Review

Relevant to OGP Values: Not Relevant

Potential Impact: Pending IRM Review

Implementation i

Completion: Pending IRM Review

Description

Thematic Area: Open Legislation
Establishing Online Channels to Broaden Civic Engagement and Increase Relevance of Local Legislations
31 August 2018 – 31 August 2020
Lead implementing agency/actor
Provincial Government of South Cotabato – Sangguniang Panlalawigan Office and Office of the Vice Governor
Commitment Description
What is the public problem that the commitment will address?
In democracy, the involvement of the citizens in the political process is essential. Ideally, when citizens participate, they themselves must assess their own needs and inform the local government what these needs are, may it be through an online or offline public channel. The same must also go with the legislation process. Despite the gains realized in reducing poverty incidence, 19.8% of families remain poor in 2015. The nature and quality of local policies and legislation greatly influence and shape the process and outcomes of local development administration. Hence, for governance to be effective in reducing poverty, only relevant ordinances and policies that can effectively alleviate poverty based on the outputs of intensified engagement with the general public must be enacted and implemented. Currently, involvement of citizens to provide input on proposed legislative measures as well as to propose possible new legislative measures that matter to them is limited since the constituents have limited knowledge on passed and proposed legislative measures especially that public hearing is not mandatory for all legislative measures. For legislative measures that require public consultations, only a small percentage of the local population is reached due to limitations of funds in sending communications and conducting face-to-face (offline) assemblies and gatherings. There is a lack of understanding and awareness among the general public that they can actually be involved in the formulation of local policies and ordinances, and on how to access existing policies/ordinances. Further, records of existing legislations (resolutions and ordinances) are also not readily accessible and available both offline and online. All these lead to majority of people not actively participating in the decisionmaking process during legislation. While those who are aware of their right to participate or access legislative information lose interest since the process is not clear on how to voice out essential opinions.
What is the commitment?
The commitment aims to create more space for citizen engagement in order to improve the local legislative process through online channels, hence, increase the relevance of local legislation in addressing the people’s felt needs and perceived development issues. This can be done by first establishing an automated database for legislations – Legislative Information Technology System (LITS) - that would serve as the central database for all current and ongoing legislations that can be easily accessed. Information on the status of ongoing legislations will also be viewed through the system. The Sangguniang Panlalawigan Office will set-up a computer where researchers and the general public may search, query and access records on existing and on-going legislations. The LITS will serve as a database for legislative records where people can readily search current and on-going/pending policies and ordinances. This legislative database will also be linked to the Provincial Online Database so that this can be accessed by the public anytime online. Online platforms also include setting-up of an official Facebook page for the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of South Cotabato and linking this to South Cotabato’s official website and Facebook page where anyone can suggest new policies and ordinances as well as give comments on current or existing policies and ordinances. This will be the platform for the general public to be consulted and propose ideas on new legislations, and provide feedback both on existing and proposed local policies and ordinances that will truly make a difference to their lives. This is in addition to the face-to-face public consultations being currently conducted for legislations that require public consultation.
How will the commitment contribute to solve the public problem?
Establishing both online media/channels to disseminate and consult citizens on legislative processes and measures will further broaden citizen engagement in legislation and ensure the passing and implementation of relevant pieces of legislation that will be truly effective in responding to the real issues and development problems of communities.
Why is this commitment relevant to OGP values?
Increase transparency and citizen participation by providing more avenue/platform for citizens to access relevant information on local legislative processes and measures. Leveraging technology for better governance by establishing online mechanisms and digital information systems to open legislative processes. Promote inclusion and gender-sensitivity by tagging enacted legislations that are authored by women or those that primarily benefit women.
Additional information
The commitment under open legislation will be implemented in partnership with a local CSO, Mahintana Foundation, Inc. (MFI), as lead partner. MFI has already developed an automated system for the legislative records and processes of the Office of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan but would only need to enhance it in order to make the system more open and accessible online by linking it to the Provincial Online Database. As relevant policies and legislation provide the environment for equitable and inclusive growth to prosper, this commitment will significantly contribute to the realization of all the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly on goals 1 (No Poverty) and 17 (Partnerships for the Goals).
Milestone Activity with a Verifiable Deliverable
Draft and pass ordinance institutionalizing the open legislation mechanism.
Vice Governor/ Sangguniang Panlalawigan Office
Sangguniang Panlalawigan Office
November 2018 – December 2018
Establish and link the Official Facebook Account of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of South Cotabato as an online platform for Open Legislation to the Official FB Page and Website of South Cotabato. This is where the general public can make comments and give feedback on both existing and proposed legislations to promote and establish people-powered legislations.
Vice Governor/ Sangguniang Panlalawigan Office
Sangguniang Panlalawigan Office
January 2019 – NA
Establish the Legislative Information Technology System (LITS), an automated database for the legislative records and processes of the Office of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan that will be linked to the Provincial Online Database for easy access of the public. A desktop computer will also be set up at the Office of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan for walk-in researchers and clients.
Mahintana Foundation, Inc., PPDOITU
Mahintana Foundation, Inc.
November 2018 – March 2019
Form and designate a committee that will review and act on the feedbacks from citizens on proposed legislative actions and ensure online publication of status report of actions taken on the citizens’ feedback through the SP Official Facebook Page. The committee will also act on inputs solicited from the general public for new legislative measures that can be crafted which needs actions and are identified as priority by citizens during the regular conduct of Outreach activities by the provincial government (offline / face-toface channel).
Vice Governor/ Sangguniang Panlalawigan Office
Sangguniang Panlalawigan Office
November 2018 – December 2018
Implementing Actors
Lead Implementing Office/ Agency/ Organization
Provincial Government of South Cotabato - Sangguniang Panlalawigan Office and Office of the Vice Governor
Other Actors Involved
Senior Accountable Officer: Hon. Vicente R. De Jesus – Vice Governor +639209622158 +6383-2283448 Technical Focal Person: Felicitas F. Bigcas, Secretary to the Sanggunian +6383-2282338
Partner CSO: Mahintana Foundation, Inc. Martiniano Magdolot - +639173059060 Jobe Tubigon - +639173059063 Media Partners: Tri-media Association Partner LGU Offices: PPDO- ITU, PIO