The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, approved on first reading a proposed ordinance institutionalizing a People’s Council in the city and establishing a Civil Society Organization Desk for the said purpose.
Under the said proposal, the Civil Society Organization Desk shall be established in the Research Division of the city legislative body which shall facilitate and promote people’s participation in governance in the city.
Further, the Vice mayor, through an office order, shall designate the CSO Desk officer who shall establish and strengthen the system of partnership between the city government and civil society organizations in consonance with the provisions of the Local Government Code, budgeting guidelines and existing city ordinances and resolutions that require the participation of CSOs and establish a mechanism to organize groups that shall facilitate and promote people’s participation in governance in the city, federate sectoral CSOs in the barangay and the city levels, mobilize and ensure participation of accredited and recognized CSOs in various processes and activities of the city government, particularly in planning, budgeting, monitoring and other service delivery area, coordinate with the established federation of local CSOs and the People’s Council in the holding of regular meetings and other relevant activities of the CSOs, monitor, through the People’s Council, CSO participation in the programs, projects and activities of the city government, maintain and update local CSO database, collaborate and submit reports to the concerned DILG field office on matters relating to the programs, projects and activities of CSOs and perform relevant functions as may be required by higher authorities.
Non-compliance to the proposed ordinance shall be subject to the provisions of Article 114b of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Local Government Code which provides that any public officer or employee who violates an ordinance may be meted administrative disciplinary action, without prejudice to the filing of the appropriate civil or criminal action.
Earlier, DILG Memorandum circular No. 2021-012 requires the institutionalization of People’s Council and Civil Society Organization Desk in local governments to provide opportunities for civil society organizations to engage and participate in the programs and processes of the national and local governments.
On the other hand, Ordinance No. 36, series of 2019, governs the conduct of participatory legislation where its Section 3 requires that all proposals relative to general welfare as defined under Section 16 of the Local Government Code shall be subject to public participation by the city council and that all accredited CSOs shall be invited for public consultations conducted by the city.
The internal rules of the council provide for a committee headed by the Vice Mayor to look into the accreditation of non-government organizations and people’s organizations pursuant to DILG MC No. 2019-72.
At present, the council has a research division which takes care of the accreditation of CSOs pursuant to DILG MC No. 2019-7, the same division maintains a database of accredited CSOs.