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CPRAT bats for public participation in formulating development plans

THE 18th City Council headed by Vice Mayor Raineir Joaquin V. Uy is set to tackle the position paper of the City Poverty Reduction Action Team (CPRAT) regarding the Mandatory Participation of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in the formulation of development and investment plans.

In a position paper, CPRAT said that some of the functions of local government units (LGUs) are not complied with, in one way or another, either due to limitations in capacities, lack of diligence, limited financial resources, or in the case of the city, the voluminous input coming from the 80 barangays.

Some ordinances are not reviewed, some plans are not responsive to the needs and welfare of the people, development concerns like solid waste management, food security, agricultural productivity, and local economic enterprises are oftentimes not included in most barangay investment plans, according to CPRAT.

More so, barangay assemblies are conducted only as mere compliance to the mandatory order of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), lacking the avenue for the citizens to freely express community welfare concerns, among others.

To ignite the community’s awareness of their roles in their respective LGUs, the national government implemented the Grassroots Participatory Budgeting Process or the Bottom-up Budgeting (BUB).

For its part, the City has supported and reinforced the adoption of the process evident in the 80 relevant poverty alleviation projects proposed by the CSOs since 2014. However, it is very clear to the CSO sectoral representatives the City Poverty Reduction Action Team that, after numerous assessments, many concerns of the CSOs in different barangays did not reach the CPRAT.

On the other hand, there were gains resulting from the level of CSO involvements in their respective barangays, thus CPRAT requests for a legislation that will encourage and institutionalize the participation of CSOs of the 80 barangays in the formulation of their development and investment plans and to require the Sangguniang Barangays to resolve the acceptance of the propositions of their citizens through their respective CSOs, barangay assemblies, barangay development councils and barangay poverty reduction actions teams.

CPRAT also asked the City Council to legislate mechanisms for grassroots participation in the planning and budgeting processes, in accordance with the provisions of the Local Government Code of 1991.

Along with other committees, the said position paper shall be tackled in the committee on finance, budget and appropriations chaired by Councilor Edna M. Dahino. (JAO)

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