WE COULD LEARN FROM THE PHILIPPINES ON SOCIAL

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WE COULD LEARN FROM THE PHILIPPINES
On Social Accountability
&
Local Governance
A Report on the Institutional Visit to the Philippines
for the LG Leaders and Officials from the DLG/MoHCA
24th May to 6th June 2014
Department of Local Governance
Ministry of Home & Cultural Affairs
Tel: PABX: +975-2-338981/334512
Fax: +975-2-338983, Post Box No. 1466
Web: www.dlg.gov.bt
PREPARED BY:
SYSTEM & CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT DIVISION
DEPT. OF LOCAL GOVERNANCE
MINISTRY OF HOME & CULTURAL AFFAIRS
THIMPHU
CONTENTS
1. Foreword.................................................................................. 3
2. Summary of the Trip................................................................ 4
3. Introducing the Participants................................................... 5
4. What did we See,Feel and Learn?.......................................... 6
5. Vision,Mission and Core Value Statements.......................... 7
6. Publication of functional Charts............................................ 8
7. Disclosure of Information....................................................... 9
8. Record Keeping..................................................................... 10
9. Service Delivery..................................................................... 11
10.Local Council Meetings-Open to Public Observation........ 12
11.Waste Management............................................................... 12
12.Catching up with Technology for Improving Public
Service Delivery..................................................................... 13
13.Publications........................................................................... 14
14.Lessons Learnt/Take-Home Messages................................ 15
15.Re-Entry Action Plans........................................................... 16
FOREWORD
I am happy to note that this is a very good report. I would like to express my appreciation
to the System & Capacity Development Division for bringing out this publication. As we
go about carrying out various similar training programs and visits abroad henceforth,
we are considering making bringing out such publication into a practice.
The report captures, although very briefly, some of the best practices on local
governance in the Philippines that mainly seems to zoom in on transparency and
accountability mechanisms, innovations and breakthroughs in public service delivery,
and also, the overall understanding of local governance system.
The publication could be very useful for possible replication in our context. The
Department would be keen to follow up and implement some, if not all, of the re-entry
action plan reflected on the last page.
In many ways, I think this is a way that we could think of doing for sharing what someone
else or a group has learnt from a visit/training abroad. We have also uploaded this
report on our website: www.dlg.gov.bt for public access.
Last but not least, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Helvetas Swiss
Intercooperation for its funding support for the trip extended through the Support for
Local Governance Project (Phase II).
Dorji Norbu
Director General
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A Report on the Institutional Visit to the Philippines for the LG Leaders and Officials
from the DLG/MoHCA from 24th May to 6th June 2014
01
SUMMARY OF THE TRIP
Objective:
To learn best practices on social accountability initiatives and best practices on local
governance. Through such benchmarking program, we intend to replicate some of the
lessons that the team saw and learnt during the trip.
Source of fund:
The trip was funded by the Support for Local Governance Project Phase II, housed
at the DLG. This project is supported by the Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation. The
project period is from Jan 2012 to December 2014.
Composition of participants:
One Dzongdag (Pemagatshel), one Dzongrab (Samtse), one Dungpa (Panbang), three
Gups (one each from Samtse, Sarpang and Zhemgang), three Gewog Administrative
Officers (one each from Samtse, Sarpang and Zhemgang), two officials from Dept. of
Local Governance (DLG), one official from the PPD, MoHCA. Therefore, a total of 12
officials took part in the trip.
Period of the trip:
26 May to 6 June, 2014.
Organizers:
The trip was organized by SERDEF (Small Enterprises Research and Development
Foundation, Philippines and IMS (Institute of Management Studies, Thimphu) was
used as the local prospective client.
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A Report on the Institutional Visit to the Philippines for the LG Leaders and Officials
from the DLG/MoHCA from 24th May to 6th June 2014
02
INTRODUCING THE PARTICIPANTS
Back row: from left to right: Ms. Jocelyn Santos (Accountant, SERDEF), Mangal
Singh Limboo (GAO, Umling Gewog, Sarpang), Kaluen Zangpo (GAO, Ngangla
Gewog, Zhemgang), Tsheten Dorji (Sr. Program Officer, DLG), Khem Raj Ghalley
(Gup, Pemaling Gewog, Samtse), Rinchen Dorji (GAO, Tading Gewog, Samtse),
Melam Zangpo (Sr. Program Officer, DLG), Pasang Dorji (Dzongrab, Samtse),
Tshering Kezang (Dzongdag, Pemagatshel), Kinzang Jurmey (Gup, Bardo Gewog,
Zhemgang), Dorji Wangdi (Gup, Tareythang Gewog, Sarpang), Therchung Kencho
(Dungpa, Panbang, Zhemgang), Karma Wangchuk Tashi (Sr. Planning Officer, PPD/
MoHCA), Ms. Miel Feria (Research Assistant, SERDEF), Ms. Cassandra Teodosio
(Executive Assistant, SERDEF).
Front row: from left to right: Ms. Librada Sarmiento (Bookkeeper, SERDEF),
Dr. Eduardo Q. Canela (Member, SERDEF), Dr. Herminia R. Fajardo (Member,
Board of Trustees, SERDEF), Ms. Serenidad F. Lavador (Member, Board of Trustees
& Technical Adviser, SERDEF), Mr. Francisco R. Floro (Chairman, SERDEF), Ms.
Gloria D. Canela (Admin. and Finance Officer, SERDEF), Dr. Paterno V. Viloria
(President, SERDEF), Ms. Arlene Liberal (Member, SERDEF), Ms. Teresita V.
Santos (Project Coordinator).
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A Report on the Institutional Visit to the Philippines for the LG Leaders and Officials
from the DLG/MoHCA from 24th May to 6th June 2014
03
WHAT DID WE SEE, FEEL AND LEARN?
A
ll that the team saw, felt and learnt will be described using pictures. So, in a way,
the report will take shape in the form of pictorial recount of the trip.
And, since it is difficult to remember most of the places that the team visited, using
names of the local places would be avoided. For the purpose of making the report
short and succinct, using of dates will also be avoided.
Figure 1: GAOs take the floor, building their skill at public speaking and presentation
Figure 2: Gups taking the floor
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A Report on the Institutional Visit to the Philippines for the LG Leaders and Officials
from the DLG/MoHCA from 24th May to 6th June 2014
04
VISION, MISSION AND CORE VALUES
STATEMENTS
I
t was impressive to find that all the local governments, including different divisions
had their vision, mission and core value statements. It is hardly done so in our
context and, therefore, we felt that we could learn from the Philippines. Such public
declaration of missions and visions would not only drive the organizational efforts
toward meeting its goals but it would also inform the general public about it.
7
A Report on the Institutional Visit to the Philippines for the LG Leaders and Officials
from the DLG/MoHCA from 24th May to 6th June 2014
05
8
PUBLICATION OF FUNCTIONAL CHARTS
T
he local governments have placed
special emphasis on making public
the roles and responsibilities of each
office or division within the office. This kind
of practice can bring about clarity in the role
of different offices/divisions, while also it
can be accessible to the information users.
A Report on the Institutional Visit to the Philippines for the LG Leaders and Officials
from the DLG/MoHCA from 24th May to 6th June 2014
06
I
DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION
t was very impressive to find that the local governments have pursued transparency
through disclosure of important information to the public. This is being done so
by displaying the documents on the notice boards. Important documents, such
as annual budgets, expenditure reports, tax collection data, list of tax defaulters,
organogram, etc (called tax delinquents) are made public.
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A Report on the Institutional Visit to the Philippines for the LG Leaders and Officials
from the DLG/MoHCA from 24th May to 6th June 2014
07
T
RECORD KEEPING
he local governments have adopted
excellent approach to record keeping.
Importance has been given to acquire
good space for storage of the documents.
It was interesting to find that the local
governments have maintained documents
dating back to as early as 1948.
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A Report on the Institutional Visit to the Philippines for the LG Leaders and Officials
from the DLG/MoHCA from 24th May to 6th June 2014
08
SERVICE DELIVERY
T
he physical attributes of an office
layout can also make a huge difference
in providing services to the people. The
local governments have good working
space for the staff, whereby the ambience
is created for quickest service delivery.
Concerns on the comfort of people visiting
the government office for availing services
is also taken into account by putting in
place good facilities for waiting, comfort
rooms, and for meeting with the governor/
mayor.
It was interesting to note that the local
governments have adopted technology
coupled with commitment of the staff
to deliver the services efficiently. For
instance, the turnaround/transaction
time for applying for a business license
is just 30 minutes. Also, to get approval
for construction of building takes just two In recognition of the excellence in service
days. In the latter’s case, the applicant delivery, some of the local governments
just puts his application papers packed have received ISO certification.
in a box into a drop-box. The drop-box
automatically assigns an auto-generated
number on the box; so human component
is being done away with, which could
avoid favoritism. However, there is a line
of staff behind the drop-box working on the
application, everything quite methodically
and systematically.
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A Report on the Institutional Visit to the Philippines for the LG Leaders and Officials
from the DLG/MoHCA from 24th May to 6th June 2014
09
T
LOCAL COUNCIL MEETINGS – OPEN TO
PUBLIC OBSERVATION
he ambience of the council
meeting room is so good that
council members could engage in very
meaningful discussions and generate
bright ideas. The room has also a lot of
space for observers. The picture below
shows that there are a lot of chairs for
outsiders to take part in a meeting.
Figure 3: With Hon. Members of Cavete
Provincial council
10
12
WASTE MANAGEMENT
Innovation
used. Plastics
converted into tiles. Also,
students are encouraged to
collect plastic bottles and
points are being awarded
that add to up their academic
performance.
A Report on the Institutional Visit to the Philippines for the LG Leaders and Officials
from the DLG/MoHCA from 24th May to 6th June 2014
11
CATCHING UP WITH TECHNOLOGY FOR
IMPROVING PUBLIC SERVICE DELIVERY
T
he local governments have adopted
technologies that can gauge time taken
to deliver a particular service. For
instance, to process a business license, the
technology automatically records time taken
to process from a particular frontline staff.
Likewise, the local governments have adopted
GPS-based database for tax collection. Here,
the tax collection division can monitor exact
locations through the GPS-enabled computer
and find out if tax payers have paid the tax,
or, if someone from a particular locality has
defaulted the payment on time.
Figure 4: mobile police station
Likewise, the police at the local governments
have adopted innovative ideas to improve their service delivery. For instance, they
have launched mobile police stations, where a big truck/van is equipped with all the
facilities such as speakers, people-friendly siren (it’s a musical tune), chairs, first-aid
box, etc. Also, the facilities and services for the prisons is said to be so good that
some people choose to be arrested.
One important observation was that police chief at the local government is appointed
by the Mayor/Governor on recommendation of the central police headquarters. This
way, the police is accountable to the Governor/Mayor and can make police services
efficient and accountable.
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A Report on the Institutional Visit to the Philippines for the LG Leaders and Officials
from the DLG/MoHCA from 24th May to 6th June 2014
12
14
PUBLICATIONS
T
he local governments have taken
up publications (year-ender/annual
reports, periodicals, brochures, flyers,
etc) as a serious business. They serve
as an excellent repository of information
needed for planning, benchmarking, and
for public information. Those publications
capture almost everything the local
government does and, eventually, serves
to make the organization very professional.
The publications not only capture the
success stories, but they also discuss a
host of challenges and issues facing the
organization. This way, it keeps a track
record of things and we can easily refer to
the information whenever needed.
A Report on the Institutional Visit to the Philippines for the LG Leaders and Officials
from the DLG/MoHCA from 24th May to 6th June 2014
13
LESSONS LEARNT/TAKE-HOME MESSAGES
•• Development has hinged on proper planning, starting from putting up vision,
missions and core values, so that organizations pursued their goals on a
sustained basis. Bhutan might also like to learn from this experience.
•• To make organizations and their divisions more accountable and organized,
it is important to mention/publish mandates and functional charts, delineating
responsibilities.
•• Decentralization has been pursued in earnest, especially on the financial
decentralization front. The local governments do have powers to make laws
on taxes and distribution of that tax money to appropriate uses. Also, there
is automatic check and balance in-built into the system whereby the political
leadership and public service delivers.
•• The country has made tremendous efforts in transparency and public disclosure,
be it process or physical space of work-stations. So that people or the service
recipients automatically exerted some sort of pressure of accountability. It is can
be believed that information is, in fact, power.
•• The service delivery standards are very high and this fastness in service delivery
can have economic benefits in that opportunity costs would be less.
•• Leadership has played a key role in bringing about positive changes. One
Governor of a province stated that, “Good governance is good politics.” So, he
actually meant that if he delivered on people’s mandate, he could always get
re-elected.
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A Report on the Institutional Visit to the Philippines for the LG Leaders and Officials
from the DLG/MoHCA from 24th May to 6th June 2014
14
RE-ENTRY ACTION PLANS
The following are some of the things that we will try to do here, slowly but steadily.
• Development of missions, visions and core values of the LGs (and DLG) and
publish them at appropriate places (office and prominent places for public
access).
• Develop functional charts (or roles and responsibilities) for different functionaries
at the LGs and for the different divisions at the DLG and have them displayed.
• LGs to put up annual budget, five-year and annual plans, annual revenue figures,
etc at their office notice boards.
• Implement production of annual reports or year-enders for Local Governments
starting 2014-15 financial year. The trial publications will be out by June 2015.
•
• Initiate the idea of setting up library facility at the DLG and also LGs.
• Ideas will be discussed at relevant forums about improving signage at office. It
may not be correct to make a generalized statement that Bhutanese are least
bothered about signage, but it may be agreeable that it is true to great extent.
Therefore, there’s need to put important signs in and outside the office.
**********************************
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