Rey Anthony Chiu
TAGBILARAN CITY, September 30, 2013 (PIA)—Relentless in its pursuit for innovations in governance and in maximizing civil society participation, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) signed this week, an agreement with Bohol Civil society groups for a partnership project that institutes a system for competitiveness in local development.
During the opening program for the Civil Society Week, Monday, September 23, the DILG through Provincial Director Loisella Lucino and Bohol Alliance of Non-Government Organizations (BANGON) through executive director Emilia Roslinda, signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) that will allow the local government agency and NGOs to advance their commitments to aggressively push for innovations in local governance.
Already a nationally acclaimed trailblazer in innovations in governance, Bohol has put in a system where government and NGOS become part of tri-folding of sectors to achieve more participative and thus, sustainable governance.
The system is however apparently only true in Bohol.
Governor Edgar Chatto, in his message during the opening program recalled the times when government and NGOs both enjoy a healthy distance from each other.
Things changed for Bohol when a participatory governance was adopted in late 90s.
With the MOA on partnership, both agree to make scale up interventions in the local governments and raise practice of governance and values transparency, accountability, participation and performance into an institutionalized status, according to the signed document.
The DILG has earlier recognized the need to tap the active involvement and participation of NGO’s and the private sector to effect responsive development projects at the local levels.
Now, the MOA engages both in joint collaborative work towards effective resources-tracking, outcome and performance monitoring, and establishes a mechanism on public accountability and transparency monitoring covering the different areas of concern.
Among the common concerns where both can synergize are: procurement, health, disaster, relief and rescue, education, environment and ecology, water, agriculture, labor, transport, women and children, persons with disabilities (PWD), senior citizens, youth, peasant, crimes including illegal gambling and drugs.
BANGON owns a provincial and town based members working on capability building, self-regulating mechanism, and in development policy-related work, pursuant to its mission of taking civil society leadership in policy advocacy and partnership building in the public arena.
The DILG on the other hand, is linking with NGOS to advance its commitments.
With the new opened window, both agree to meet regularly to plan for conduct of regional dialogues and workshops that will firm up the partnership program components and establish LGU-CSO partnership, assessment and capability building of partner CSO’s, launch monthly policy conferences as venue for addressing various local governance issues and concerns, launch a social accountability initiative involving citizens participation in monitoring government service delivery and program implementation, follow a Periodic assessment of engagement of LGU-CSO-PS and communicate engagement results.
The MOA binds Bangon and its allied NGOs to convene and mobilize CSO’s/NGO’s/PO’s to be partners in promoting good local governance, transparency and accountability at the Provincial/City/Municipal and Barangay levels, participate in Policy Dialogues, enhance existing programs on transparency and accountability, provide inputs on how best to pursue specific advocacies of marginalized sectors in local government and provide assistance to DILG in undertaking performance monitoring of its agencies and constituencies.
For DILG, they are to design and coordinate activities for the partnership program, issue policies and guidelines implementing the components or the partnership program, and coordinate with the Department’s regional and field offices, and local officials pertaining to any activity sanctioned by the parties.