MANILA – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Wednesday said the government continues to use various platforms to engage citizens to join the pursuit of good governance and improved public service delivery.

Speaking for the Participatory Governance Cluster at a pre-SONA Forum, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said the active participation of the public in the “Online Talakayan” for open discussions on development and government planning has yielded positive results.

“Thanks to you, good governance and public service delivery became more transparent, efficient and people-centric. At dahil sa inyong pakikilahok sa adbokasiya ng mga ahensya ng pamahalaang nangangasiwa sa kanilang kapakanan, ay mas nabigyang boses ang mga kabataan, kababaihan, at mga kapatid nating Muslim (And because of your participation in the advocacies of the agencies in charge of their welfare, our youth, women and Muslim brothers and sisters were given a voice),” he said.

He added that through the Development Live app and Citizen Satisfaction Index System, they were able to monitor local infrastructure and development projects.

“And in safeguarding the environment, your active engagement likewise helped us ensure that tourist spots like Boracay, El Nido, Siargao, and Manila Bay remain ecologically healthy and sustainable. Traffic decongestion would also be difficult without your reports on road obstructions,” he noted.

He added that the Participatory Governance Cabinet Cluster has just released a resolution affirming their commitment to integrating citizen engagement in “delivering public goods and services”.

Año also urged the public to report those erring government officials through its Bantay Korapsyon Program to uproot the abusive and corrupt in the government, especially in agencies directly attached to the DILG.

“We at the national government, the Department and other partner agencies, including the PNP, are here to take action on your grievances. And we assure you that we—including our LGUs and barangays—will be transparent and accountable in every decision and action we take. Only by working together can we ensure the continued integrity and excellence of our institutions,” he said.

Under the program, he said, a total of 866 complaints were filed against 675 barangay and local government officials in 2019.

Meanwhile, Año, who is also vice-chairperson of the National Task Force against Covid-19, reiterated that a whole-of-government approach with strong support and cooperation from citizens will help the country win the battle against the pandemic.

“Help us ensure participative and effective governance as we undertake to implement the National Action Plan for Covid-19. Join us in our contact tracing efforts as we detect, isolate, treat and reintegrate Covid-19 patients. Help us build and run hospitals, isolation units, and testing centers while the government conducts expanded targeted mass testing,” he added.

He said while the health crisis has posed various challenges and dangers, it also showed how the ‘bayanihan’ (civic unity) spirit shines through every Filipino, as volunteers manned health checkpoints and isolation centers, cooked food for the indigents, packed personal protective equipment (PPE) sets for front-liners, and opened their homes for those who had nowhere to go.

“This is our home and we must awaken spirit of bayanihan among us. And by keeping it alive, we leave a legacy of Pinoy resiliency and strength. We in the Participatory Governance Cluster call on the Filipino citizenry to actively partake in nation-building,” Año said. (PNA)