Strengthening local participatory planning and budgeting: Revisiting focus and strategies of citizen groups

By Randee C. Cabaces
March 19, 2014 - 5:57am

Even before the recent decision of the Philippine Supreme Court declaring the legislators’ pork barrel (also known as Priority Development Assistance Fund or PDAF) unconstitutional, public finance experts and good governance advocates in the country have raised possible alternatives to these discretionary funds as a scheme for prioritizing local needs and allocating scarce public resources. One such alternative involves strengthening existing local planning and budgeting systems. The country’s existing policy framework and the current administration’s governance reform initiatives provide for an array of mechanisms to ensure transparency, accountability, and citizen participation in local governance.

A key question now is how have citizens and citizen groups utilized such spaces.

A recent collaboration between the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability in East Asia and the Pacific (ANSA EAP), the Partnership for Transparency Fund (PTF), and the Makati Business Club – Coalition Against Corruption (MBC – CAC) brought to focus some of the challenges facing citizen groups in local planning and budgeting processes. The Enhancing Transparency Impact (ETI) Project is a two-year initiative that aims to enhance the impact of citizen actions towards transparency and good governance through grant-giving and knowledge sharing.

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