Local Governance Watch to keep local execs honest
Now the public can keep a close watch on government officials.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Wednesday launched the Local Governance Watch or LG Watch, a tool that will allow civil society organizations to keep track of the performance of local executives.
Interior Secretary Jesse M. Robredo said LG Watch will serve as “a social accountability mechanism that will encourage greater civil society participation in local governance.”
“Today, collaboration is the call of the times. The government acknowledges that it can do its job better, faster and more efficiently with the help of civil society,” Robredo said at the launch of the project at Gateway Suites in Quezon City.
“Through LG Watch, the department will be actively collaborating with CSOs (civil society organizations) in the planning, monitoring and evaluation of local government programs and projects,” he added.
But Robredo said governors and mayors should not be threatened by the word “watch” in the project.
“The goal is not to spy or pry into the affairs of the local government, but to make civil society governments empowered, to give them the chance to be heard and participate in good governance,” he said.
Ambassador Guy Ledoux, head of the delegation of the European Union to the Philippines, said the European Union helped in the conception and design of LG Watch through a contribution of P1.5 million.
“The LG Watch is opening new perspectives for the future,” Ledoux said.
“It will put in the hands of civil society a very useful set of tools that will allow organized citizens to engage with local authorities in a more systematic and structured way in order to make them more transparent, accountable and efficient,” he added.
Robredo signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with two groups, the People Power Volunteers for Reform, and the International Center for Innovation, Transformation and Excellence in Governance, laying out guidelines for the implementation of LG Watch.
He said LG Watch was primarily aimed at facilitating systematic and sustained engagement of CSOs in local public administration to ensure transparency and accountability in the delivery of social services and implementation of government projects.
“The end goal here is to make LGUs more responsive and efficient because they now have the CSOs as active partners in development,” he said.
Under the agreement, LG Watch shall have three major components: the Citizens Satisfaction Index System (CSIS); Civil Society Participation Fund (CSPF); and the Capacity Development for Civil Society Organizations (CDCS), said DILG Assistant Secretary and Bureau of Local Government Supervision Director Rolando Acosta.
The CSIS will generate feedback on the local government’s performance on service delivery and serve as a third-party assessor of the results of the DILG’s Local Governance Performance Management System, a self-assessment tool on the key areas of local governance.
The CSPF, on the other hand, will involve a mechanism that provides incentives to CSOs that are actively engaging with LGUs in local development, while the CDCS will strengthen the knowledge and skills of CSOs in performing their roles as partners of government in various governance processes.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.