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DBM champions digitalization of govt processes to hasten transparency in governance

ILOILO CITY (PIA) – The government currently pushes for digitalization across all departments to hasten the delivery of services and provide the public with better access to all its programs.

Budget Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman, Chairperson of the Philippine Open Government Partnership (PH-OGP) Steering Committee, underscored this in her keynote speech during the OGPinas! Visayas leg was held at the District 21 Hotel, Iloilo City, on Oct. 18.

The present administration, according to Pangandaman, has invested around 30 percent increased allotment for this year's budget for digitalization efforts for the entire bureaucracy, recognizing this as primordial to more transparent governance in the country.

Budget Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman delivers her keynote speech during the OGPinas! Visayas Leg held in Iloilo City on Oct. 18. (Photo courtesy of Department of Budget and Management)

“Through digitalization, there is accountability and transparency. We can see all the transactions, including the cash-ins and cash-outs, as well as our respective balances,” Pangandaman said.

While acknowledging that cyberhacking is rampant, the budget secretary noted that, along with digitalization, safeguard mechanisms such as the One-Time Password (OTP) help ensure the safety of users in every online transaction.

Likewise, she cited OGPinas! as the true embodiment of the essence of open government, involving all sectors of society in framing governance reforms and promoting participatory decision-making, bringing together all branches of government despite being independent of each other.

“We are now working closely to synchronize and complement our open government initiatives. We will also integrate open government vertically, and bring PH-OGP to the local level through OGPinas,” Pangandaman noted.

The secretary also shared some insights on how the country is currently perceived globally as a "trailblazer" in open government partnerships during their attendance at the 2023 OGP Global Summit in Tallinn, Estonia.

Pangandaman underscored the result of a recent Open Budget Survey that the Philippines was acknowledged as the leading country in the Southeast Asian Region for public participation in the budget process.

“We have a lot of good initiatives and endeavors in pushing for open government in the country. Our mission here for OGPinas is to encourage and instill a culture of transparency, accountability, public participation, and overall, open government in the country,” she said.

The signing of Executive Order No. 31 institutionalizing the PH-OGP plays a critical role as a multi-stakeholder undertaking responsible for ensuring the country's commitments to OGP.

Thus, this Department of Budget and Management (DBM)-led advocacy, in partnership with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), seeks to provide an avenue for citizens to access information, encourage civic participation, and strengthen public accountability.

Various stakeholders join Budget Secretary Pangandaman in the Pledge to Open Governance to signify their support for the OGPinas! campaign. (PIA Region 6 photo)

To note, the Philippines became one of the eight founding members of OGP in 2011, which created a global partnership among national and local governments, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), and all other stakeholders from the different sectors of society.

Continuing this open governance campaign through “harnessing technology, creating synergy with CSOs, and mainstreaming these innovations in various levels of government,” the PH-OGP was launched this year to more than a hundred participants from the National Capital Region, Region IV-A, Region IV-B, and Region V who joined the first leg of the milestone campaign held at SM North Skydome in Quezon City on Oct. 11.

Succeeding PH-OGP cluster events in Mindanao and Baguio City are also set to be held within the year. (AAL/AGP/PIA 6)

About the Author

April Grace Padilla

Information Officer II

Region 6

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