Pangandaman recognizes SM Prime, QC govt as first OGP PH champions

DBM Secretary Amenah Pangandaman (Center) confers the first ever OGP Champion Award in the Philippines to SM Supermalls represented by Senior Vice President Bien Mateo (3R) alongside DBM NCR Regional Director Ruby Muro (1L), PIA NCR Regional Director Emver Cortez (2L), PIA Director General Jose Torres Jr. (3L), DILG Undersecretary Marlo Iringan (2R), and DBM Undersecretary Wilford Will Wong. (Photo by Janna Pineda/PIA-NCR)

MANILA, (PIA) — Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman on Wednesday, October 11, recognized SM Prime Holdings, Inc. and the Quezon City government as the first ever champions of Open Government Partnership (OGP) in the Philippines, in an event that promotes enhanced transparency and citizen participation in government processes.

Let us be empowered by our vision for an open government and let us empower others through this platform to make the changes we all desire for the betterment of our country—even beyond our Agenda for Prosperity,” said Secretary Pangandaman in her keynote. 

Maximize this opportunity, engage in the discussion, take up spaces, and let your voice be heard,” she added, highlighting the need to advance the promotion of open government partnership initiatives.

The OGP, according to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) website, is a “global effort” that seeks to “create commitments from government and non-government stakeholders” towards promoting transparency, empowering citizens, fighting corruption, and harnessing new technologies in a bid strengthen governance.

During the launch of the Luzon Leg B of the Philippine OGP (PH-OGP), some 300 participants from the government, civil society organizations, academe, and other sectoral representatives gathered together to collectively pledge to open governance at the SM City Skydome in Quezon City.

Secretary Pangandaman also underscored the significance of establishing an open government towards instilling a culture of transparency and accountability in the country.

Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman delivers a keynote message during the launch of the OG Pinas Nationwide Campaign NCR Leg (Photo by Janna Pineda/PIA-NCR)

As the Chair of the PH-OGP Steering Committee, Secretary Pangandaman has earlier stressed the importance of adopting modern tools to facilitate the rapid release of information to the public while promoting fiscal transparency.

She also cited the need to institutionalize the PH-OGP as a value system that enhances transparency and citizen participation across all government agencies.

In response, President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.’s administration issued Executive Order No. 31 on June 20, 2023, institutionalizing the Open Government Partnership.

This executive order also enlists the active participation of the people and their organizations at all levels of decision-making, including social, political, and economic spheres.

On the other hand, the National Action Plan (NAP), co-created with civil society organizations will be grounded in the principles of transparency, accountability, citizen participation, technology, and innovation, with oversight by the Independent Reporting Mechanism of the OGP.

Additionally, the steering committee will develop a communication and advocacy plan, inviting collaboration with legislative and judicial branches of government as needed.

On the other hand, the launching ceremony of the nationwide open government advocacy campaign also showcased the commitment of the PH-OGP in promoting deeper civil society-government engagement, anti-corruption efforts, mechanisms for public accountability, and technological innovations to improve public service delivery.

Other government officials likewise aided in the advancement of the the invaluable role of strengthened public participation, improved government transparency, and enhanced accountability as pillars of good governance. Local Government Undersecretary Marlo Iringan, Philippine Information Agency Director-General Joe Torres, Jr. and DBM-NCR Director Ruby Muro formed part of the said initiative. 

Key OGP advocates from the national government lead the pledge of commitment to open governance. (Photo by Janna Pineda/PIA-NCR)
Other sectoral representatives sign the pledge of commitment to open governance. (Photo by Janna Pineda/PIA-NCR)

It can be recalled that the PH-OGP, founded in 2011, is dedicated to fostering transparent, participatory, inclusive, and accountable governance.

The Philippines, as a cofounding member of the OGP, actively promotes access to information, public accountability, citizen participation, and the use of technology and innovation to strengthen governance.

The OGPinas! will provide a multi-sector platform for government and non-government representatives across the country through the principle of co-creation with an end goal of producing more active open government champions. (PIA-NCR)

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