Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman (File Photo)

MANILA – Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman is pushing for the institutionalization of the Philippines' Open Government Partnership (PH-OGP), a multilateral organization of reformers inside and outside of government.

Pangandaman acknowledged the crucial role of the PH-OGP in strengthening governance, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said in a press release sent to reporters on Saturday.

During the PH-OGP roundtable discussion with key government agencies on Thursday, the budget chief reiterated her plan to institutionalize the operations of PH-OGP and called for "stronger" collective action from government stakeholders to deliver the organization's goals.

"There is great value in moving the PH-OGP forward, institutionalizing OGP in government, and engaging more partners," said Pangandaman, who concurrently serves as chairperson and secretariat of the PH-OGP steering committee.

"(We need) partners who share the same commitment to increasing the availability of information about governmental activities, supporting civic participation, implementing the highest standards of professional integrity, and increasing access to new technologies for openness and accountability as embodied in the Open Government Declaration that we, as members of OGP, are expected to endorse."

She also noted that Open Government work starts with public officers and civil servants.

The government's insights and plans, she said, are vital in achieving the PH-OGP action plan.

"This is to match and complement the efforts of non-government movers concerning scaling up of participatory decision-making mechanisms and collaborative efforts of planning and implementing responsive, holistic, and targeted policies and programs of the PH-OGP," the DBM said.

The PH-OGP roundtable discussion, the DBM said, allowed key government agencies to share their insights on how to renew OGP at the national level and energize the coalition as it enters its second decade through an open discussion and exchange of ideas and learnings.

During the discussion, participants determined key areas where PH-OGP could contribute and focus on in the next five years; gathered insights into sustaining or changing the OGP aspects; and identified strategies on how the PH-OGP can be mainstreamed within the government.

Speaking before the PH-OGP members for the hybrid 3rd Quarter Steering committee meeting on September 15, Pangandaman pledged that the sixth PH-OGP National Action Plan would contain more ambitious commitments that mirror the government's eagerness to better serve the Filipino people.

She assured that the new action plan would center on transparency and innovation "as a response to the current realities of society."

The OGP, co-founded by the Philippines in 2011, is a multilateral organization of reformers from government, civil society networks, businesses, and non-profits reflective of the values of access to information, public accountability, citizen participation, and leveraging technology and innovation to strengthen governance.

It includes 77 countries, 106 local governments, and thousands of civil society organizations whose ultimate goal is to promote transparent, participatory, inclusive, and accountable governance. (PNA)