BAGUIO CITY – All local government units (LGUs) in the region have been tasked with establishing a Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) Desk and institutionalizing a People’s Council in each LGU to provide a mechanism for citizens’ views and opinions in various areas of governance to be heard and considered.
“The presence of the CSO desks in the LGUs will ensure effective and appropriate participation of CSOs at all levels of social, political and economic decision-making,” said Daisy Payang, Local Government Capability Development Division (LGCDD) Division Chief of the Department of the Interior and Local Government Cordillera.
She said that CSO desk shall serve as an avenue to document and address the issues and concerns of CSOs in the locality; assist CSOs intending to apply for accreditation to a local special body and/or participate in local government programs, including the People’s Council; and encourage the active participation of CSOs in all local governance processes from planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluating programs, projects and activities, through the spirit of volunteerism.
Adding, “the CSO Desk will be responsible for the organization of federation or coalition of sectoral CSOs, including the formation of People’s Council in the LGU.”
Meanwhile, the circular stated that the Local Sanggunian, through the CSO Desk Officer, shall issue a Notice of Call for the Creation of People’s Council to all accredited, registered, and recognized CSOs, with copies posted in at least three conspicuous places within the city or municipality.
Consequently, the Provincial People’s Council which shall be recognized by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan through a resolution thus all nominees from the component municipal and city People’s Councils within the jurisdiction shall elect from among themselves the members of the Provincial People’s Council.
The People’s Council will be composed of civil society organizations (CSOs) that will be accredited by the Local Sanggunian upon proof of submission of requirements, including proof of existence for at least one year, proof of activities, list of membership, and officers, among others.
It can be recalled that DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya stated in an official statement that the participation of CSOs in government processes is important for the purpose of providing check and balance and in exacting accountability. An active CSO participation is an indicator of healthy participatory governance. By Pamela Mariz T. Geminiano