Open Contracting PH Pilot Writeshop Launched

From Left to Right: Redempto Parafina, Executive Director of ANSA-EAP; Dr. Joyce Cuaresma of UP NCPAG; Chad Osorio of ANSA-EAP; Emy Perez of Ateneo School of Government; Flordeliz Abanto of St. Scholastica’s College Journalism; Jalton Taguibao of UP Pol

In an initiative aiming to link the academe with the government and civil society organizations for social accountability, the "Open Contracting in the Classroom and Beyond" was launched on November 23, 2013.

"Open Contracting in the Classroom and Beyond" is a pilot project in Asia which aims to gradually integrate OC awareness in education curricula, and introduces students as citizen monitors in furtherance of social accountability and good governance.

Open Contracting (OC) refers to government disclosure and citizen participation in the entire public contracting process, from planning to fulfillment of obligations. It will hopefully result to better facilities and infrastructures, more efficient delivery of goods and services, and the furtherance of the protection of the rights and welfare of the population.

“But this time, we want teachers,” said Redempto Parafina, ANSA-EAP’s Executive Director and a pioneer participant of the Open Contracting Booksprint in Washington DC. “Open Contracting is a new field, and it needs a catalyst for awareness. Where best to start it but in our schools?”

The event was organized by ANSA−EAP Foundation, Inc, the recent awardee of the international Bright Spots Prize for its project “Citizen Participatory Audit” with the Philippine Commission on Audit.

This time, in collaboration with the Ateneo School of Government and the World Bank Institute, ANSA-EAP has invited university teachers from different fields who can participate in the OC module development writeshop and learning sessions. 

The attendees from the different universities are: Flordeliz Abanto of Journalism from St. Scholastica’s College Manila; from the University of the Philippines Diliman, Jocelyn Cuaresma and Maynard Matammu of the National Center for Public Administation and Governance, and Jalton Taguibao from the Department of Political Science, College of Social Sciences and Philosophy.

ANSA−EAP’s Redempto Parafina headed the event, with Open Contracting Philippines project coordinator Chad Osorio as facilitator. Imelda Perez of Ateneo School of Government was also there to talk about Social Accountability and her personal experiences as a practitioner in the field of Extractive Industries. 

The modules developed from the two-day writeshop will then be used when students undergo a two-part learning session on OC and submit a report on actual experience of accessing government contracts. It will be on the perspective of students as concerned citizens as well as future practitioners in their respective fields.

“We’re all very hopeful,” Chad Osorio said. “Open Contracting in the Philippines is very promising.”