BACOLOD

Ombion: People's Council for Change (PPC)

Perspective

IS A timely and fitting initiative for leaders of different grassroots organizations and communities nationwide to consolidate various efforts that push for governance that advances public interests and truly inclusive development.

Organized independently by different sectoral and territorial citizens social organizations (CSOs), non-government organizations (NGOs), cooperatives, issue-oriented civic groups, the PPC works on a platform that puts forward the agenda of strengthening the transparency and accountability of LGUs, increasing participatory governance, advancing people empowerment in different levers of power, and advocating development that democratizes resources and wealth and where people live in prosperity with dignity.

These interconnected agendas are the continuing core issues that people have been demanding since the immediate post-Marcos period, and even more under the present administration.

Issues of agricultural backwardness, lack of industrialization, export reliance, import dependence, foreign debt peonage, social inequity and poverty, deepening environmental destruction, hazards and disasters are all about governance.

Unfortunately, the prevailing governance structure and system is still ruled by oligarchs and political dynasties, despite the codal guarantees in our Constitution, Local Government Code and dozens of other relevant laws, orders and memos. In short, we have yet to see governance that truly matters to our people, environment and nation.

Learning from the past positive and negative initiatives at reforming political bureaucracy and economic system, the PCC works within and outside the system, and using all legal, peaceful, constructive, dialogic and concerted means, to advance public interest governance and development.

The PCC is probably the first to have achieved as a recognized and pioneer partner of DILG Bantay Korapsyon (BK) Program despite its stringent CSOs accreditation requirements.

With its experience with PCC, DILG has already issued memo encouraging CSOs active participation in local governance, and in third-party monitoring of LGUs projects, including the most recent memo to build and institutionalize Peoples Council and CSO desk in every LGU.

As both a partner of DILG and an independent force, the PCC can effectively help LGUs in realizing the latest memo, and also provide check and balance to LGUs and local chief executive practices in appointing their pet or favored CSOs, NGOs to the Local Development Council, Local Special Bodies and also in Barangay based institutions.

With its vast pool and deep bench of skills and talents, the PCC can likewise help DILG and LGUs in enabling them and the CSOs to improve local participatory and responsive governance that works for the people.

Still, keeping its independence and initiative, beholden to no one, the PCC can effectively work as fiscalizer for public interest governance and development.

It is a must challenge for CSOs, POs, NGOs, churches, DILG frontliners, LGUs, to become part of the ongoing formation, programs and activities of PCC in every province, city, municipality and barangay.

Kudos to PCC and the DILG support for this noble initiative.


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