Gov. Edgar Chatto will be one of only two Filipinos to speak at the Asia Pacific Leaders’ Forum (APLF) on Open Government in Jakarta, Indonesia on Thursday in a rare global recognition of Bohol governance.
Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Sec. Benjamin Diokno is the other invited speaker from the Philippines.
The forum will bring together heads of states/governments, ministers, local government leaders, civil societies, business communities and development partners, among others, from the region and beyond.
The country is also sending as delegates Commission on
Audit (COA) Chairman Michael Aguinaldo and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Usec. Austere Panadero.
The Philippines is one of the signatories to the Open Government Partnership (OGP), which today involves 75 countries and 15 sub-national (local) governments committed to be more open, accountable.
The OGP is a multilateral global initiative aiming to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance.
The Indonesian government asked the Bohol leader to speak on “Exploring the Impact of Open Government for Inclusive Development at Sub-National Level.”
Chatto received the invitation from the APLF host country thru Indonesian Minister of National Development Planning Bambong P.S. Brodjonegoro, who also heads the National Development Planning Agency.
“We believe that your expertise and experience in open government implementation in Bohol, especially through people participation and empowerment, will be an excellent addition to our forum,” Brodjonegoro told Chatto on the formal invitation.
Many have considered the want of Asia Pacific region to showcase Bohol governance as a bonus validation of the province’s string of awards and recognitions.
Just recently, Bohol earned the “Most Business-Friendly Province” Award from the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) and Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) Award from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
No less than Pres. Rodrigo Duterte presented the PCCI award to Chatto while the DILG SGLG is Bohol’s third in a row, a hall of fame feat for the provincial government.
OPEN GOV’T CHAMPION
Likewise, the APLF organizers cited the Bohol governor as “one of our lead open government champions at the sub-national level, specifically in the open local legislation process.”
Carrying an overarching theme “Open Government for Inclusive Growth,” the forum will open in a morning plenary keynoted by Indonesian Pres. Joko Widodo at the Hotel Borobudur on December 14.
Public-private partnership is one sterling marks of Chatto’s administration in the pursuit of the governor’s principle and practice of shared leadership.
Thus, the APLF would like Chatto to also emphasize co-creation and citizen engagement for better development outcomes.
Specific to this is how working with the civil society and citizens on opening up legislative and budget processes helps in achieving more inclusive development in Bohol.
Bohol was highlighted as an open government model province at the High-Level Regional Conference on Open Government Partnership at the Philippine International Convention Center last August.
The conference was considered a side-event of the Philippine chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) 2017.
Bohol even hosted four major meetings of the ASEAN, plus its dialogue partner countries, this year, polishing the province’s image as an emerging international convention destination.
The upcoming forum will give ample opportunities for participants to exchange knowledge and best practices on how the Asia-Pacific region has used open government to attain inclusive development.
This is development by promoting economic growth, reducing poverty, efficiently and effectively delivering public services, and promoting sustainable development both at national and local levels.
“With the world now experiencing a crisis of trust in institutions, there is a significant need to reinvigorate political leadership on open government that puts people’s well-being at the core,” forum organizers SAID.
Reforms towards more government openness and inclusivity are considered critical not only to assess progress and plan the future, but also to celebrate accomplishments.
Among others, the forum intends to achieve the building of relationships that encourage cross-country learning, working together to find ways to bolster individual efforts for reforms that put citizens first.
LOCALIZING GLOBAL AGENDAS
Since its launching in 2011, the Open Government Partnership or OGP has engaged in a discourse about “localizing the global agendas.”
In essence, it requires a two-way approach by which national priorities derived from global agendas are matched and shaped by local needs and priorities as determined by the local stakeholders.
Experiences have emphasized the importance of creating an enabling environment, which requires institutionalizing a legal or policy framework for reforms and financing initiatives that link global and local thrusts.
Also to speak are Mayor Sunduin Batbold of Ulaanbaatar City in Mongolia; Mayor Tri Rismaharini, Surabaya, Indonesia; Anano Tsintsabadze, Open Society Georgia Forum; Dr. Youngsook Nam, seceratary-general, WeGo; and Dr. Bernardia Irwati Tjandradewi, secretary-general, United Cities and Local Governments – Asia Pacific (UCLG-ASPAC).
The Bohol governor is the only from the ranks of Philippine local government to speak at the global forum, aside from being one of the only two invited Filipino speakers.
The Indonesian government fully sponsors the trip of Chatto, who will be accompanied by Bohol First Lady and Balilihan Mayor Pureza Veloso-Chatto.