Caloocan City Supports ANSA-EAP’s IBM Project

Continuous Partnership-Building between ANSA-EAP and the Caloocan City Government.

After the successful launch of i-budget.mo (IBM) at Barangay 176 Bagong Silang in Caloocan City, Barangay 177 Cielito is set to follow suit. The launch began with the brainstorming session, wherein citizens shared insights and comments on community issues and needs, as well as provided solutions and interventions to address them. It concluded with the highlighting of the IBM online platforms: the website, the Android application, and the SMS system.

The launch was held last Monday, 16 June 2014. The event was divided into two sessions of three hours each, with around 180 participants for both sessions from citizen leaders and civil society organizations.

i-budget.mo (IBM) Project is an innovative take on participatory budgeting. It aims to complement and supplement existing participatory budgeting mechanisms by employing the use of information and communication technology (ICT) to assist in community mobilization and citizen involvement in identifying project prioritization.

The goal of IBM is to establish an online-offline platform, with a specific focus on constructive engagement and citizen monitoring of the local government budget. The online platform broadens means for community feedback and government response, while the offline one encourages more proactive citizen participation in the local budget process.

“The support is overwhelming,” Chad Osorio, IBM Project Manager, noted. “You can really see the local government, citizens, CSOs, and even international organizations, all working together to make this project happen.”

The IBM pilots in Caloocan City would not have been possible if not for Mayor Oscar ‘Oca’ Malapitan’s support, in line with his governance motto, “Tao ang Una.” Behind this citizen-priority framework stands City Administrator Engr. Oliver Hernandez, who has given his whole-hearted approval of the project proactively involving the citizens, and has provided the IBM Team with the point persons to coordinate with to begin the pilots in Caloocan. These key people are Mme. Aurora Ciego, Head of the City Planning, and Mr. Nomer Marmolejo, Officer-in-Charge of the City Budget, both of whom are instrumental in shaping the framework of individual activities both at the city and the barangay level. In terms of the involvement of the academe, University of Caloocan City (UCC) President Cesar Chavez has also welcomed the project, with an introductory talk about IBM during a UCC faculty meeting. Potential replication and expansion is currently being explored with the help of the office of Hon. Dale ‘Along’ Malapitan, as the Head of the League of Barangays, with assistance provided by Atty. Elvin Cruz.

CA Hernandez has recommended Barangays 176 and 177 for the pilot projects, citing their open local governments, young and innovative barangay leaders, and active citizenry. Barangay 176 Bagong Silang has already started the implementation of the first pilot, with Punongbarangay Joel Bacolod and Barangay Administrator Emily Batalla at the helm; Barangay 177 is currently at the partnership-building stage with Punongbarangay Donata Jarito and the Barangay Kagawads, with the first General Assembly set to launch by the first week of July.

“We’re doing everything to make this not only a successful project, but also an award-winning project,” ANSA-EAP’s Executive Director Redempto Parafina said.

Stay tuned for more IBM activities at Caloocan City! The i-budget.mo Project is funded by Hivos through the Southeast Asia Technology and Transparency Initiative. For more details, check out www.ibudgetmo.org or email us at info@ibudgetmo.org.

Google+