The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) hosted the first official meeting of the Participatory Governance Cluster (PGC) of the Cabinet for 2018 on January 11 at the DBM Library.
DBM Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno, as PGC Co-Chair, facilitated the proceedings of the meeting. The meeting, held two months earlier than the Cluster’s prescribed meeting schedule, aimed to flesh out upcoming activities for the development of the expanded PGC Performance and Projects Roadmap (PPR), the blueprint that outlines the key reform programs and initiatives of the Duterte Administration in pursuit of participatory governance.
“We have called this special meeting to present to you some developments and proposals for approval before the roll out of our proposed series of events,” said Sec. Diokno.
During the meeting, he also welcomed the newly appointed Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Officer-in-Charge, Mr. Eduardo Año, as the new PGC Co-Chair.
Said meeting was the second official meeting of the members of the Cluster since it was created by virtue of Executive Order No. 24 entitled, “Reorganizing the Cabinet Clusters System by Integrating Good Governance and Anti-Corruption in the Policy Frameworks of All Clusters and Creating the Infrastructure Cluster and Participatory Governance Cluster,” issued on May 16, 2017.
High-level officials and staff from 12 PGC member agencies attended the meeting to discuss some concerns arising from the first official meeting including, among others, the status of the potential amendment of EO No. 24 to expand the Cluster membership to include other agencies that are directly involved in achieving the goals of the PGC.
At present, PGC member agencies include the DILG as Chair, Office of the Executive Secretary, Office of the Cabinet Secretary (OCS), National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC), Presidential Management Staff, Finance (DOF), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Presidential Legislative Liaison Office (PLLO), and the DBM as co-Chair and Secretariat.
Director Rolly Toledo of the DBM’s Fiscal Planning and Reforms Bureau (FPRB), which serves as the PGC Secretariat, presented the updates and upcoming activities of the PGC, including the conduct of a survey to map out existing participatory governance efforts under the present Administration. Director Toledo also shared the status of the initiatives of member agencies anchored on the PGC-PPR, with the DBM having been rated with “Good Performance” for its Open Budget Index score and shepherding of the Budget Reform Bill.
Director Toledo also cited the awards and recognition of the Cluster, namely, the Philippines’ recognition as the sole country to meet international standards in extractive industries governance and the DBM as the Freedom of Information (FOI) Champion at the 2017 FOI Awards.
Key policy decisions made from the meeting are the following: 1) creation of an Inter-Agency Working
Group on Citizen Engagement and CSO Accreditation to be led by the NAPC; 2) implementation of the PGC Mapping Survey; and 3) approval of the concept note and roll out of the series of regional dialogues on the crafting of the PGC Roadmap Phase 2.
The next PGC meeting is tentatively set on March 2018 to be chaired by the DILG.