Business Options; Peoplea[euro][TM]s Participation in Local Planning and Budgetting

Article excerpt

The Local Government Code (LGC) of 1991 calls for greater involvement of civil society organizations (CSOs) and peopleas organizations (POs) in the preparation of local development plans (LDPs) at all levels of local governments, be it a municipality, city or province. The LGC further requires local government units (LGUs) to conduct periodic consultations with CSOs and POs before any project or program is implemented in their respective jurisdictions. In this regard, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has issued various memoranda directing LGUs to set up joint consultations and dialogues with sectoral groups of their community. Further provided in the LGC is the creation of the Local Development Council (LDC) to help local officials in governance.

The creation of LDC encourages the participation of CSOs and POs in government affairs. The participation of CSOs and POs promotes effective governance and transparency in government. The LDC prepares a comprehensive multi-sectoral development plan for the municipality, city or province, for final approval by the Sanggunian. The LDC is supposed to assist the Sanggunian in setting the direction of economic and social development, and coordinating development efforts within its jurisdiction. Under Sec. 107 of the LGC, the number of CSO/PO representatives in each LDC shall not be less than one-fourth of the total membership of the council.

The objective of the LGC in involving the community in local governmentsa activities through participation in the planning process is laudable. This gives you and I, the common "tao," opportunity to let local officials know what we think and share with them our knowledge and skills. Unfortunately, most LGUs do not use this to its fullest potential and politics still very much play an ugly role in the selection and nomination of the said "peopleas representatives" to the LDC. In practice, the preparation of LDPs are mostly done by LGU planning officers with minimal or no consultation at all with the sectoral representatives. …