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Wednesday, 14 January 2015 00:00

Citizen’s Participation in Monitoring LGU Performance and Development Planning for Poverty Reduction (CML)

 

The CML project, which was started in September 2012, envisions that by 2016, poverty would have been reduced in 24 selected municipalities because citizens and their organizations have been enabled to actively participate in governing their communities – monitoring how well local government officials deliver services; taking part in managing local development, from planning, budgeting and all the way to evaluation of government programs and projects, focusing on health, agriculture, and fishery sectors.  

In its second year of implementation, the project forged ahead in terms of community empowerment and participation in governance.

Twenty-four local civil society organization (CSO) networks, mobilizing 892 CSOs, were organized and strengthened purposively to engage government through the local governance processes and the Grassroots Participatory Budgeting (GPB) process. Although currently at different levels of growth – some at the core group formation stage, others close to federation building - the CSO networks at the municipal level have crafted their basis of unity, their Local Poverty Reduction and Development Agenda (LPRDA). 

The LPRDA identifies the poverty-related concerns of the community and the proposed intervention for addressing the said concerns. The agendas were presented to LGU officials of 17 municipalities in different settings, like the Executive-Legislative Agenda review and the Annual Investment Planning for calendar year 2015. Learning from yet another set of lessons brought by the devastation of Typhoon Yolanda in the regions, their LPRDAs subsequently integrated disaster risk reduction and management.   

The LPRDA also derives from the CSO networks’ participatory monitoring initiative using the Civil Society Satisfaction Report Card (CSRC). The results of the first CSRC survey expressed the CSOs’ assessment of their LGU’s performance in service delivery and governance during the past term of office. These results were also presented to LGU officials of 24 municipalities.  

To enable more CSOs to participate in local development planning, the project extensively assisted at least 450 of them through the accreditation processes of the Sangguniang Bayan. It resulted in a 23% increase in the number of accredited CSOs. At least 21% of them sit now in the local special bodies of their LGUs.   

Noticeably, the CSO networks, still bearing their LPRDAs, engaged government more actively through the national GPB process for the 2015 cycle - in the municipal CSO assemblies, in the DILG-supported Local Poverty Reduction Action Planning workshops. Around one-fourth of the CSOs were members of the Local Poverty Reduction Action Teams (LPRATs) in the past year, a marked 53% increase from the numbers during the first year of the project. 

In the different municipalities in Mindanao, the CSO networks are getting a foothold for institutionalizing the CSRC as their LGU monitoring tool. The Eastern Samar municipalities have drafted a municipal ordinance increasing people’s participation in local governance. As a whole, the project contributed to the assessment of past GPB cycles, to policy recommendations, and to the drafting Joint Memorandum Circulars governing the GPB process.

 

The four-year CML Project is supported by the Delegation of the European Union in the Philippines. It is being implemented in seven provinces: Antique, Eastern Samar, Samar, Leyte, Davao Oriental, Agusan del Sur, and Surigao del Sur, with partner member networks

WeVNet, EVNet, and MinCODE, and nine of their base organizations.

 

 

 

Member Networks

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