Demand for Good Governance Cambodia Exposure Visit to the Philippines

Mayor Baby Congco with DFGG Participants

Ten Cambodian delegates from the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of National Assembly, Provincial Government, various civil society organizations and the media arrived in the Philippines for a five-day exposure visit last February 20, 2010.

Organized by ANSA-EAP as part of The World Bank’s Demand for Good Governance (DFGG) Project, the visit aimed to enhance the delegates’ knowledge of various local governance initiatives in the Philippines that adopt social accountability mechanisms. 

The five-day learning visit included interactions with the government offices, namely Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Cabiao municipal government, the Quezon City government and the Office of the Ombudsman. 

In Cabiao, Nueva Ecija, the Cambodian delegates learned of the value of institutionalizing social accountability mechanisms to effectively address public concerns and empower citizens in local-level decision-making. Other local government best practices presented to the delegates were the Quezon City’s business permit licensing process and Galing Pook awardee Pasig City’s Green City initiative.  On the national government level, the participants heard about DILG’s efforts to promote transparency and to strengthen and incentivize local government units. 

The delegates also had the chance to interact with civil society groups that maintain partnerships with the Philippine government—Gawad Kalinga, Galing Pook Foundation, Transparency and Accountability Network, Access to Information Network and CODE-NGO. 

During their Evaluation Session held on the last day, the Cambodians acknowledged that the challenge now is to be able to mirror the Philippine experience in Cambodia.  This, they added, will not be easy as the appreciation of social accountability mechanisms is still at its early stages and citizen participation in government processes is still relatively low. Still, with the appropriate capacity building support, implementation of anti-corruption measures and mobilization of private sector support, Cambodia is well on its way towards having an actively engaged citizenry demanding good governance.