INTERIOR and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mar Roxas met with civil society organizations (CSOs) Wednesday to discuss how citizens’ groups could further push transparency and accountability in government.

Roxas, who came from a similar meeting in Malaybalay City earlier in the day, met with the CSOs at the Patrick Cronin Hall at the San Augustine Cathedral complex.

“I am here to push for our collective future,” Roxas told the gathering.

He underscored the role of CSOs in advancing transparency and accountability, making repeated references to continuing President Benigno Aquino III’s “matuwid na daan” slogan.

“Let us help each other. We will not balk in the face of challenges,” Roxas said in what many took as a veiled reference to his intent to run for president next year.

Roxas said citizens should make corrupt government officials accountable and choose leaders who are both competent and morally upright.

"Change the leaders, change the system of corruption, every single one of the issues you presented requires change before we can make it happen," he said.

Among the issues discussed in the hour-long dialogue were CSO representation in local development councils, the accreditation of CSOs from the village to the national level, the Sangguniang Kabataan’s (Youth Council) empowerment and reformation, and bottom-up budgeting (BUB) which encourages greater involvement of CSOs in the budgeting process for government projects.