US ambassador to the UN hails success of Bottom-up Budgeting

MANILA, Oct. 31 -- The Philippine’s open government reforms shone anew at the Open Government Partnership (OGP) global summit in Mexico City, with the Bottom-up Budgeting (BuB) program being recognized by the American ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power.

In her address delivered at the opening plenary of the OGP summit last October 28, Power said the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals—a new set of global goals to end poverty and inequality over the next 15 years—is central to the OGP agenda. She noted that open and transparent government initiatives should ultimately set out to tackle poverty and inequality, citing the BuB as a good example of the open government initiative.

“In the Philippines, one of OGP's founding members, the government required grassroots participation in the planning and budgeting of poverty-reduction programs in every one of the country's 1,634 municipal and provincial governments,” said Power, leader of the US delegation to the OGP summit and the youngest-ever American ambassador to the UN.

“And that has resulted not only in greater citizen involvement in the creation, implementation and evaluation of programs, but it's also meaning that the programs themselves are tailored for the communities rather than invented by some bureaucrat in an office that's not in touch with what people really need,” she added.

Meanwhile, DBM Chief Information Officer Undersecretary Richard E. Moya said “This acknowledgement reminds us that that we are on the right path with our unwavering commitment to transparent, accountable, and participatory governance.” Moya also heads the Philippine delegation composed of the Open Data Philippines Task Force and several representatives of civil society organizations advocating transparency and accountability through open data.

Listed as the 63rd most powerful woman in the world in 2014 by Forbes, Power is best known for her book "'A Problem from Hell’: America and the Age of Genocide", which won the Pulitzer Prize in 2003.

Over 3,000 high-level participants from civil society organizations, business, academia, tech, and governments are participating in the two-day OGP Summit, which ends today. Mexican President, Enrique Peña Nieto, opened the Summit in a ceremony held at the Palacio de Bellas Artes. At the top of the agenda is the agreement on the Joint Declaration on Open Government for the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for SustainableDevelopment.

At least 29 of OGP’s current 66 countries and dozens of civil society organizations are expected to sign the declaration, committing to use their participation in OGP to implement the new Global Goals and to increase the transparency of the resources intended to fight poverty.

For the Philippine representatives, part of the summit agenda is the adoption ceremony of the Philippines’ Open Data Charter, which will take place during the closing plenary session.

The Philippines Open Data Charter sets out in detail the guidelines for the implementation of open data standards in the country.

“The Open Data Charter was developed to help bolster transparency and accountability in government by nurturing an environment of public empowerment. With this charter, the public can hold their government accountable, and broaden their role in their country's development,” Undersecretary Moya said.

The Open Data Philippines Task Force is responsible for the implementation of the Charter and is composed of the DBM, the Office of the Presidential Spokesperson (OPS), and the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO).

The Philippines is currently implementing its third OGP action plan, the OGP National Action Plan for 2015-2017, which launched last August 31. This action plan includes not only commitments from the National Government but also from the civil society and the private sector. (DBM)

 © 2015