RESOURCEGov Project shares ODK System to LGU Polomolok Treasurer’s Office

The RESOURCEGov 2 Project conducted two (2) batches of Open Data Kit (ODK) training to the staff of LGU Polomolok- Treasurer’s Office on June 28-29, 2019 with the goal of upgrading its systems for digitized business records and mapping of business establishment. A total of 30 participants (14, Male, 16 Female) from the Municipal Treasurer’s Office (MTO) and the project joined the activity. Project Manager Mr. Roel Ian P. Blanker guided the participants in generating their tax mapping form in ODK and allowed them to do initial mapping for greater appreciation of data collection and consolidation using their Android phones and tablets.

The LGU Polomolok, covered by the project as one of its expansion areas in Region 12, has been looking for ways to enhance its revenue by properly recording and locating the growing business establishments in the municipality; thus, it partnered with Mahintana thru the project. With ODK, the LGU will be able to set actual targets rather than based on previous estimates. Moreover, it gives the LGU an oversight of all the business establishments in the municipality thru maps, and allows it to analyse business compositions thru the information filters of ODK. The LGU and the project has set to formally launch its ODK-based Tax Mapping in the municipality on July 11, 2019

Polomolok evaluated for the Red Orchid Award

By virtue of Proclamation No. 183 signed on May 30, 1993 by former President Fidel Ramos, June is annually celebrated as the No-Smoking Month in the Philippines. The Municipal Health Office (MHO) together with the Department of Health (DOH) scheduled the anti-smoking evaluation of Polomolok on June 20, 2019. Project Officers Jeric Amparo and Rochelle Juevesano were invited and documented the event.

Over 700 participants from different barangays in Polomolok attended the event to show their participation and support during the evaluation period; barangay captains and kagawads were present as well. Dr. Edwin Dipus from the MHO delivered the opening remarks. Hon. Honey Lumayag-Matti also expressed her support to the anti-smoking program. One portion of the stage was taken up by a table filled with the necessary documents the barangays submitted for the evaluation. To close the brief program, Dr. Earl Edward Dimamay delivered the closing remarks and took the time to thank and appreciate the evaluators and volunteers in the Anti-Smoking Cluster. The evaluators were given time to check the submitted documents and following the program, the participants took home their red orchid barangay tarps, no-smoking flaglets, and took photos. As a result of a municipal-wide effort, Polomolok received its third Red Orchid Award, making it a Hall of Famer for Red Orchid.

LITS Monitoring to Sultan Kudarat and North Cotabato Areas

Project Officer Mr. Kurt Jurgen Von Lumbao visited the LGUs of the expansion areas of Sultan Kudarat and North Cotabato to monitor the utilization of Legislative Information Tracking System on June 3-4 and 6-7, 2019. Schedules are as follows: June 3, 2019 – Pres. Roxas, Arakan and Antipas, June 4, 2019 – Banisilan, Alamada and Pigcawayan, June 6, 2019 – Bagumbayan and Esperanza, and June 7, 2019 – Kalamansig and Lebak .

LITS was installed and already used, with resolutions and ordinances uploaded and encoded. During the monitoring, he gathered the issues and concerns of the LGUs. Most of the LGUs have issues such as lack of staff assigned to administer the system and need for re-orientation on the use of the LITS. SB Secretaries requested for the refresher training on its maintenance and use.

RESOURCEGov Project Conducts CSO Profiling in Region 12 in Preparation for the Call for Accreditation

As one of the follow-through activities for CSO interventions, RESOURCEGov Project Documenter Ms. Lorielyn P. Patoc visited the Municipal Local Government Operations Officers (MLGOOs), Sangguniang Bayan (SB) Secretaries and CSO Desk Officers of the eight existing LGUs of Region 12 namely: Malapatan and Maasim (Sarangani), Lake Sebu and Tampakan (South Cotabato), Lambayong and Pres. Quirino (Sultan Kudarat), and Aleosan and Libungan (North Cotabato) to inquire about the CSO accreditation requirements per municipality. The documenter also acquired the lists of the accredited CSOs for the project to contact them one by one with the aim to assess their needs and provide technical assistance before the call for accreditation. The activity was participated by 46 participants (Male 12, Female 34) from the LGUs.

SOLARES Project Orientation, MOA/MOU Signing and Project Inception/Planning Workshop

As part of the preparatory activities and to establish a common understanding and commitment from project partners and beneficiaries, the EU-funded SOLARES project conducted a Project Orientation and MOA/MOU Signing on May 30, 2019 held at Avior Hotel, Santiago Blvd., General Santos City. The event was graced by key actors in the energy sector (Dole Philippines, Inc., Peace and Equity Foundation, Inc., SUKELCO, SOCOTECO II) and the Microfinance Institutions (PAMULCO, KIMEMCO, KPS-Seed MFI, Sta. Cruz MPC, Bacbacan MPC). Over 100 participants were present including Brgy. Captains and top officials & representatives from partner LGUs and Brgys. in Sultan Kudarat and Sarangani areas.

The activity was an avenue to update the project partners/beneficiaries on the status/progress of the project especially on some changes of the project proposal and budget (i.e. change in SHS technical design/specs, project sites, implementation arrangements, etc.).  The program preliminaries included the project overview presentation delivered by the SOLARES Project Manager Mr. Jobe C. Tubigon and messages of support from key stakeholders and partners. Governor Steve Chlongbian-Solon of Sarangani Province also graced the event and verbalized his commitment and support for the implementation of the project.

The ceremonious signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA)/Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) followed afterwards which aims to gain/secure commitment from project partners and to ensure effective and sustainable implementation of the project. The signatories were Dolefil’s VP & Managing Director Mr. Randy Fleming, PEF Executive Director Mr. Robert Calingo, Mahintana President & CEO Mr. Martiniano Magdolot, SUKELCO BOD President Mr. David Batayola & SOCOTECO II BOD President Mr. Jose Santos. This intimate gathering ended with a brief networking and socialization among the guests and participants.

The Project Orientation also consist of a 2-day Project Inception/Planning Workshop on May 30-31, 2019, held right after the MOA/MOU Signing event. The workshop brought together the SOLARES project management/implementation team from Mahintana and PEF together with ECs SUKELCO & SOCOTECO 2 and five (5) Microfinance Institutions represented by their Chairperson, Manager and Bookkeeper/Finance Officer to further discuss about the project deliverables and expected outcomes.

More specifically, the workshop provided an opportunity for all potential partners to review & assess project timelines of the planned activities, especially on the technical design, implementation arrangements and strategies on SHS eletrification and livelihood components and to develop an action plan for the key activities.

RESOURCEGov presents at OGP Canada Global Summit

May 28-June 1, 2019

The Open Government Partnership (OGP) selected Mahintana Foundation to represent the Philippines together with the Provincial Government of South Cotabato in the recently concluded OGP Global Summit in Ottawa, Canada from May 28 to June 1, 2019. The organization, thru Mr. Roel Ian P. Blanker, the RESOURCEGov 2 Project Manager, shared the project initiatives to a global audience at the city hall of Canada’s capital city. His presentation got featured in the Scottish Government Blog (https://blogs.gov.scot/open-government-partnership/2019/06/06/10-things-we-learned-in-canada-global-summit-of-open-government-partnership/) after captivating the audience with the project’s innovative and digital ways of doing project monitoring, legislative information tracking, and ensuring citizen participation in local governance. Meanwhile, the Provincial Government of South Cotabato represented by Ms. Jennifer Bretaña, its Provincial Planning and Development Coordinator also shared the province’s integrity initiatives with partner CSOs in summit sessions.

Brief Rationale of Participation

Mahintana thru the RESOURCEGov 2 Project has capacitated the Provincial Government of South Cotabato on the use Open Data Kit and Qlik systems to a better and efficient monitoring of government projects. Specifically, the provincial government has institutionalized the use of the system thru its Provincial Project Monitoring Committee (PPMC) to monitor and evaluate projects that have implementation issues together with CSOs and community affected by the projects. Moreover, Mahintana also helped the tracking of the legislations of the province’s Sanggunian Panlalawigan by providing a Legislative Information Tracking System (LITS) wherein legislative documents are digitally archived for easy access to public or interested parties, and performance of Sanggunian members and committees are evaluated. The systems provided by the project along with other integrity initiatives of the province promote transparency, accountability, and participation in local governance led to South Cotabato’s active participation in the Open Government Partnership (OGP). OGP is an organization of reformers inside and outside of government, working to transform how government serves its citizens, and Mahintana supports the province in its OGP Open Monitoring & Evaluation and Open Legislation commitments thru technical assistance on the implementation of ODK, Qlik and LITS systems thru the RESOURCEGov 2 Project. Recognizing the achievements of the province and its partners, OGP invited champions of South Cotabato’s OGP commitments to the 2019 OGP Global Summit in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada including Mr. Roel Ian Blanker, Mahintana’s RESOURCEGov 2 Project Manager, Ms. Jennifer Bretana, the Provincial Planning and Development Coordinator, and other key commitment partners in the national level from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Commission on Audit (COA), Department of Budget Management (DBM), The Philippine Embassy, and OGP Philippines Steering Committee. Active CSOs who have helped implement OGP commitments in the country also joined the summit and they are from Bantay Kita PH, European Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines, Hivos in the Philippines, LayerTech Software Labs, and Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, to name a few.

The OGP Global Summit serves as an avenue for OGP participating countries to learn and share about their open governance initiatives, ideas, challenges, and solutions anchored to themes Participation, Impact, and Inclusion. According to the summit organizers, over 2,000 open government champions has attended from across the 79 OGP member countries. This year’s summit also featured digital initiatives thru civic tech salons, hackathons, and breakout summit sessions by thematic areas. Giant tech firms such as Microsoft, Google, Amazon, GitHub and even the world wide web founder himself, Tim Berners Lee, graced the event along with Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and many more influential politicians across the globe. The summit also served as an opportunity for global participants to network, learn from other government and CSOs, and share their interventions to further improve their work on making the government more open and accessible to citizens.