Note on Status (as of 15 September 2011): this is a working draft of the Philippine Government Action Plan for the Open Government Partnership (OGP). This was crafted after soliciting inputs from Cabinet officials and after conducting initial consultations with stakeholders.
During the preparatory period of October to December 2011, this Philippine OGP Action Plan will be subject to further refinements as well as to broader public consultations with stakeholders. After a final plan has been approved by the President, implementation will commence in January 2012.
To Ensure Direct, Immediate and Substantial Benefits to the Poor
On February 25, 1986, the Filipino People toppled a dictatorship after four days of nonviolent protest. Crying out “tama na, sobra na!” the people poured out into the streets after heeding the call of religious and civic leaders to protect rebel soldiers and thereby end the decades-long dictatorship of Ferdinand E. Marcos, with its corruption, human rights violations and worsening poverty. The EDSA People Power Revolution of 1986 culminated in the inauguration of Corazon C. Aquino—housewife of a martyr of Martial Law—as President of the Philippines.
Twenty-five years after this historical milestone, the Philippines has a new opportunity to put the aspirations of People Power for reform back on track. With a resounding mandate , President Benigno S. Aquino III won in the last May 2010 elections to replace an administration plagued with allegations of massive corruption, a lack of political legitimacy and an inability to address the widening gap between rich and poor. His campaign message, “kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap, ” resonated with an electorate yearning for change.
President Aquino made a Social Contract with the Filipino People, where he committed to be the nation’s first and most determined fighter of corruption, and where he envisions the rebuilding of public institutions that operate under the highest standards of integrity and on solidarity with the people. The Philippine Development Plan, which fleshes-out this Social Contract, is anchored on fighting corruption and establishing transparent, accountable and participatory governance as necessary preconditions to achieving poverty reduction, inclusive growth, enhanced peace and ecological integrity.
This motive force for these reforms is People Power: a paradigm for achieving the nation’s progress by ensuring the active and meaningful participation of citizens in public policy and programs. The Philippine Government aims to transform People Power from a nonviolent form of street protest to a means for citizens and workers in government to collaborate in the halls of government to ensure that the benefits of governance reaches the poor in a direct, immediate and substantial way. In contrast to the secrecy, impunity and collusion among selfish factions in the past, People Power seeks to widen the democratic space for citizens in their very own government.
The Philippine Government sees open government as a means to operationalize and institutionalize People Power. It will take on the vital challenges of improving public services, increasing public integrity and more effectively managing public resources: so that the Aquino administration’s vision of kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap can be fulfilled.
In crafting this Action Plan, the Philippine Government consulted with national networks of civil society organizations (CSOs) . This Action Plan is for implementation starting January 1, 2012; and the period of October to December 2011 will serve as the preparatory phase.