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G-Watch Center February 14

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G-Watch Center February 14

  1. 1. WATCHDOGS Balay Kalinaw, UP-Diliman Quezon City 14 February 2018 ____________________________________ Now Needed More Than Ever
  2. 2. Government Watch (G-Watch) is a former university program on social accountability that has transitioned into an independent action research network. It is composed of 12 affiliate organizations:  Eight (8) local hubs and core groups  Four (4) partner CSOs
  3. 3. G-Watch was established to promote accountability.
  4. 4. “At the most general level, accountability refers to the process of holding actors responsible for their actions. This involves ‘answerability’—usually formal processes in which actions are held up to specific standards of behavior or performance.” (Jonathan Fox 2011: 28)
  5. 5. G-Watch aims to:  To check government performance.  To demand public services and advance citizens’ rights. To hold government answerable for its decisions and actions.
  6. 6. Accountability processes and mechanisms are important in order to:  Prevent corruption  Sanction wrongdoing  Ensure that needed public services efficiently delivered to the public
  7. 7. During the 2016 presidential elections, all the major candidates promised to protect, promote and strengthen accountability…
  8. 8. …including Rodrigo Roa Duterte.
  9. 9. “I’ll start simultaneously attacking crime, criminality, and graft and corruption. It has to stop. Hindi ako nagmamalinis dito, lahat naman ng tayo sa gubyerno, merong mga sayad.”
  10. 10. “I’ll fix the government along the way. ‘Yung mga mayors, ‘yung mga barangay captain, and others. And I will deal with you heartily.”
  11. 11. A Platform for Genuine Change  The passage of the Freedom of Information Law.  The lifting of the rule on public officials’ secrecy.  Institutionalizing governance partnership with civil society.  Instituting a government that is based on the four principles of transparency, accountability, participation and predictability.
  12. 12. “A politician says one thing during the election, and something else when he takes office.”
  13. 13. The Duterte administration have undertaken several actions that tend to undermine accountability.
  14. 14. There is an apparent attack on press freedom, targeting media organizations critical of the administration. The Philippine Daily Inquirer was recently bought by businessman and Duterte ally Ramon Ang. Rappler had its registration revoked by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 1st
  15. 15. The President has instructed the Philippine National Police (PNP) to withhold from the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) any information regarding alleged cases of extrajudicial killings under the so-called “War on Drugs.”2nd
  16. 16. Malacañang decided to cover the SALNs of Cabinet with black ink to ensure their “right to privacy.” But then-Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella still assured the public that the government continues to uphold transparency and accountability in public service. 3rd
  17. 17. Duterte signed Executive Order No. 34 on 17 July 2017. The said EO states that government procurement worth Php500 million and above will no longer need the approval of the Government Procurement Policy Board (GPPB). This action directly undermines the spirit of the Government Procurement Reform Act (GPRA). The GPRA has introduced this measure to limit personal discretion which is vulnerable to corruption. 4th
  18. 18. The Philippine government decided to replace competitive bidding with a method called a Swiss challenge. This method does not require a bidding process without prior consultation or public scrutiny and does not have any clear accountability measures. 5th
  19. 19. The House of Representatives wants to change the Constitution through a Constituent Assembly. Congressmen seek to remove several accountability provisions in the current charter:  Lifting term limits  Abolition of the Office of the Ombudsman (Article XI, Sections 5- 14)  Curtailment of press freedom by adding the qualifier “responsible” before the phrase “freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press” (Article III, Section 4) 6th
  20. 20. If the trend continues, corruption will most likely become more prevalent under the present government. Citizens should undertake collective action to protect and advance transparency, participation and accountability.
  21. 21. Citizen action for accountability achieve success if these pre-requisites are met: 1. Access to information 2. Mechanisms for accountability 3. Citizen action (voice) 4. Response of government (teeth)
  22. 22. G-Watch aims to take part in this endeavor by initiating monitoring activities along with our local partner organizations based in different parts of the country. These will focus on key anti-poverty programs of the government.
  23. 23. If and when Charter Change pushes through, G-Watch intends to undertake a civil society monitoring and advocacy campaign to protect the accountability and anti-corruption principles and mechanisms provided in the 1987 Constitution.
  24. 24. Salamat Po!

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