“We want to be able to demand from national government that they continue these kinds of project; to show national government that being open works!” — Czarina Medina-Guce, Executive Director, ULAP.
The Philippines became a founding member of the Open Government Partnership
May 2015 End date
In 2011, the Philippines became a founding member of the Open Government Partnership, committing to reforms to that improve public services and effectively manage public resources.
Technology has been a key tool for all actors to support these aims, primarily by providing transparent and accessible information to the public, and creating platforms that allow citizens to participate in shaping national policy.
However, while the use of technology has been prominent at the national level, there is a need to bring these innovative strategies to governance reforms to the local level, and ensure that the benefits of open government reach all citizens in the Philippines.
The Filippino government's open data portal OpenBUB.gov.ph reports and monitors projects funded under its Grassroots Participatory Budgeting process. By giving everyone the opportunity to monitor and provide feedback on these projects, the government hoped to foster a new culture of transparency and trust.
However, the ‘supply’ of the platform preceded the ‘demand’. Local government and local communities were not involved in building the platform and, as a result, this potentially transformative tool is not being used.
At the request of the Filipino government, the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) is supporting three pilot provinces to identify context-specific, tech-based innovations to support efforts to make OpenBUB more accessible and useable at the local level. The project explores the role of applications and SMS, as well as offline face-to-face approaches to deepen engagement and take-up of the platform
“This was a national initiative that was pushed out to local government, so to begin, we have held design-thinking workshops to find less central ways of getting civil society, local government and citizens involved in the process... Our end goal is for civil society and local government to feel ownership of this project and to co-create the process going forward.”
– ULAP Executive Director Czarina Medina-Guce.
The Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines is the umbrella organization of all local government leagues and its elected local officials. Its mission is to unite all the Member-Leagues and enhance its partnership with all stakeholders to ensure a genuine local and fiscal autonomy for all Local Government Units thereby ensuring their smooth and efficient delivery of basic services to the people.