Anti-corruption advocates hail lawmaker's bill-A A +A
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
KIDAPAWAN CITY -- Anti-corruption advocates in North Cotabato hailed Senator Teofisto Guingona's proposal to include representatives from the non-government organizations (NGOs) and civil society groups in open budget process.
Guingona filed Senate Bill 2186, or the "People's Participation in Budget Deliberations Act of 2010," which seeks to institutionalize the active participation of the people's organizations in the budget process.
Vilma Gonzales, secretary-general of the Watchful Advocates for Transparency, Clean, and Honest Governance (Watch) in Kidapawan City, said Guingona's proposal would provide a venue for better transparency in the government.
"There is fair and equitable distribution of public funds," said Gonzales.
Gonzales and other officials and members of Watch Kidapawan have just completed an advanced training on transparency and anti-corruption reporting for journalists and civil society organizations here on Monday given by the Philippine Public Transparency Reporting Project (PPTRP).
The Watch Kidapawan is the first media-CSO anti-corruption watchdog, which PPTRP helped develop and establish to monitor and report on transparency and accountability in government projects in Kidapawan City.
Guingona has called on the country's NGOs and civic organizations to rally behind his bill that will enshrine peoples' right to participate in the budget process.
The senator said peoples' active participation would give "life" and "meaning" of transparency in the allocation and use of public funds.
His proposal would make it mandatory for government agencies to ensure that NGOs, civic groups and other people's organizations are involved in the budget preparation process.
"This active participation also underscores that the financial resources that become part of national budget actually belong to the people," said Guingona.
Guingona, while still member of the House of Representatives, has authored House Resolution 120, which enabled NGOs and CSOs to participate in the budget deliberations of Congress.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on June 08, 2011.