MARCH 22, 2013

NR # 3051

People’s participation in development plans pushed
Lawmakers today stressed that people’s participation should be institutionalized in the formulation of local and national government development plans. The House of Representatives has endorsed for Senate approval HB 3264, which seeks to strengthen the participation of civil society organizations (CSOs) in the formulation of national, regional, and local development plans. “The proposed statute will ensure the participation of civil society organizations in national building,” the authors said as they lauded Rep. Benjamin Asilo, Chairman of the Committee on People’s Participation, for defending the measure on the floor until its final passage and endorsement to the Senate. HB 3264, principally authored by Reps. Joseph Victor Ejercito (Lone District, San Juan City), Winston Castelo (2nd District, Quezon City), Linabelle Ruth Villarica (4th District, Bulacan), and Eduardo Gullas (1st District, Cebu), has been approved on third reading by the House and is now pending final action by the Senate. “The measure strengthens the role of CSOs in pursuit of their collective interests and aspirations and ensure their effective and reasonable participation at all levels of social, political, and economic decision-making,” Ejercito and Castelo said. The bill mandates all national government agencies involved in planning and the regional and local development councils to take measures to ensure the participation of CSOs in the formulation of growth programs. Likewise, it provides for an accreditation procedure for CSOs that wish to participate in the policy formulations in all levels of governance. The measure compels the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), the barangay secretary of each Barangay Development Council, and the coordinator of each Provincial/City/Municipal Development council to issue a notice of call for written submission of CSOs’ proposals and/or comments on proposed development plans. It also requires all submissions to be (a) properly received by the NEDA or the concerned development council; (b) entered into a database for the purpose; and (c) considered in the formulation of the development plan. “One of the many vital provisions mandates that all deliberations on development plans be open to the public,” the authors stressed.

Also, it requires the NEDA and the development council to present proposed development plans to all concerned stakeholders prior to their submission for approval. There is also the provision tasking the DILG and the NEDA to monitor and evaluate the accreditation and participation mechanisms of CSOs, and further provides for an incentive system through the DILG's Performance Challenge Fund for LGUs Program. The penal provisions of the bill imposes a fine of P20,000.00 and a suspension of six (6) months to one (1) year on any public official or employee who shall (a) fail to publish the notice of public call for submissions, (b) refuse to acknowledge receipt of any submission made by CSOs, and (c) fail to invite CSOs to the deliberations on development plans. Other co-authors include Reps. Cinchona Cruz-Gonzales (1st District, Capiz), Raymond Democrito C. Mendoza (TUCP, Party-list), Edwin L. Olivarez (1st District, Parañaque City), Cresente C. Paez (COOP NATCCO, Party-list), Godofredo V. Arquiza (Senior Citizens, Party-list), Rafael V. Mariano (Anakpawis, Party-list), Catalina LeonenPizarro (ABS, Party-list), Reena Concepcion G. Obillo (Una ang Pamilya, Party-list) and Sharon S. Garin (AAMBIS-OWA, Party-list). (30) dpt

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