MANILA – The Philippines is one of the four countries cited in a report released by the International Budget Partnership (IBP) having an “adequate” level of accountability in its early response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
The IBP only gave the second highest level of accountability to the Philippines, Australia, Norway, and Peru, with no country able to get the “substantive” level of accountability in their early Covid-19 response.
The report identified 29 countries having “some” level of accountability in their pandemic response, which include the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, and New Zealand, among others.
Fifty-five nations were identified having “limited” level of accountability, which include neighboring Asian countries such as China, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam, while 32 countries were tagged having “minimal” level of accountability in Covid-19 response.
“When putting in place fiscal policy response to the pandemic, governments are taking a series of measures out of a sense of urgency -- such as bypassing legislatures, relaxing procurement procedures, and not seeking citizens’ inputs -- that undermine accountability,” the IBP report said.
On the other hand, the IBP report also cited the Philippines having good practice in maximizing the role of legislatures in Covid-19 response, thus not curtailing their role amid a state of emergency.
“In the Philippines, specific provisions are included in the “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act” -- the law detailing Covid-19 response measures -- to ensure that weekly reports on Covid-19 response actions are sent to a Joint Congressional Oversight Committee that oversees implementation. In addition, the Congressional Policy and Budget Research Department (CPBRD) conducted a results-based assessment of this Act,” the report said.
Along with Norway, El Salvador, Peru, and Chile, it also cited the Philippines for its good practice in decision-making on Covid-19 response by getting inputs from the public.
“In the Philippines, a commitment to hold a series of public consultations called Dagyaw 2020 -- promoted under the aegis of the Open Government Partnership -- was repurposed to ensure continuing public dialogues during the Covid-19 crisis on government response policies,” the report added.
The IBP said only the Philippines, Canada, and Sweden have included a Gender Impact Assessment of their pandemic response which is an important area to keep “apprised of the differing needs of vulnerable groups in the population”. (PNA)