Network for transparency rises in Pampanga 

Pampanga meeting

 

ANGELES CITY, Pampanga – A group of citizens has agreed to form the provincial network of the Citizen Action Network for Accountability (CANA), and thus will engage local governments here for better transparency and service delivery. 

Pampanga meetingTaking part in the introductory meeting with CANA June 28 at the Clark Freeport Zone were representatives of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP)-Pampanga Chapter, GV 99.1, Tau Guaga, Advocacy for the Development of Central Luzon (ADCL), Guardians, Central Luzon TV (CLTV), Metro Angeles Chamber of Commerce, Save the Trees, the Chamber of Real Estate and Builders’ Association (CREBA), Punto Central Luzon and the Angeles City Press and Radio Club. NUJP-Pampanga co-organized the meeting.

The participants shared issues on public transparency and accountability facing both the city and province. Among these were the lack of transparency in the use of 20 percent development fund particularly in the barangay level; lack of consultation in implementing projects which pose harm to the environment; and lack of information on road widening projects and other multi-billion projects of government. 

MACC President Frankie Villanueva said that the city has a citizen’s charter encouraging citizen participation in the processes of local governments. Ordinance 295 Series of 2011, also known as the “Empowerment Ordinance of Angeles City” aims to build and strengthen partnerships between the city government and civil society.

“We should make sure this is implemented. Participation is important especially in the legislative process,” Villanueva said.

The group decided to be among CANA’s provincial network to promote local transparency and accountability. NUJP-Pampanga Vice Chairperson Fred Villareal said CANA recognizes the on-going efforts of civil society, media and other sectors to improve transparency in government, and forming CANA-Pampanga will help consolidate these efforts for more impact.

NUJP-Pampanga agreed to serve as CANA-Pampanga’s secretariat. The group will have its first training on monitoring and reporting public transparency under CANA in July.

Before the meeting ended, the group expressed support for the passage of the Freedom of Information (FOI) by signing in a nationwide online petition which CANA supports. CANA Program Manager Rorie Fajardo and NUJP Vice Chairperson Alwyn Alburo pointed out the need for FOI to combat corruption and promote transparency.