IMPLEMENTING PARTNER: Government Watch
YEARS: 2009 – 2010
GRANT AMOUNT: $30,475
THEMES: Education; Procurement
Government Watch has long been in a partnership with the Department of Education. The six rounds of Textbook Count have resulted in a well-established collaboration of the government and civil society. Improvements were also significantly observed in the areas of textbook price, the amount of time spent in the procurement process, the physical quality of textbooks, and adherence to the schedule of deliveries. These gains are a testament to what civil society participation can do to improve government service delivery, and these will be hard to reverse.
In the fifth round of Textbook Count (2008-2009), G-Watch implemented a project that sought to protect, sustain and expand the gains of civil society participation in the Department of Education. Protecting the gains meant preventing the return to the old system which lacked transparency and accountability. Sustaining the gains meant continuing the momentum of reforms that had been put in place. Expanding it came in the form of covering procurement items within DepEd other than textbooks.
The local implementation of PRO aims to strengthen civil society participation in the procurement processes of the Department of Education at the local level. G-Watch’s long engagement with DepEd through Textbook Count has been limited only to textbooks (for Textbook Count) and school buildings (through Bayanihang Eskwela).
DepEd-PS has asked for a wider CSO coverage especially at the local level where critical procurements are also being done. PRO at the local level intends to make the transparency and accountability mechanisms for procurement more effective and tighter, which is expected to result in competitive prices, efficient procedures and stronger adherence to law.
Specifically, PRO in the regional level would capacitate local CSOs in procurement monitoring and encourage them to take an active part in protecting the DepEd regional procurement and thereby creating a pool of qualified CSO procurement observers who can readily be tapped by DepEd regional offices.