Government Watch

Government Watch

YEAR(S) 2011 – 2012
THEME(S): Education

Budget for basic education is at an all time high of P207.27 billion this year, growing by 18.46% (P32 billion) from the 2010 basic education budget of P175 billion, with the Department of Education (DepEd) once again receiving the highest budget appropriation among all government agencies. In order to ensure that the allocated budget goes to the needed education services, G-Watch shall sustain and expand its engagement with DepEd through school-based monitoring backed up by local hubs in order to eliminate opportunities for corruption.

To monitor and also to increase public participation, G-Watch is building a partnership with the government. The Department of Education (DepEd) has been in partnership with Government Watch (G-Watch) of the Ateneo School of Government (ASoG) since 2002 for various monitoring initiatives like Textbook Count, Textbook Walk, Bayanihang Eskwela and the Protect Procurement Project. In particular, the G-Watch has been working with the Instructional Materials Council Secretariat (IMCS), the Procurement Service and the Physical Facilities and Schools Engineering Division (PFSED) to facilitate the interface of concerned government officials and civil society representatives in monitoring education service delivery.

To monitor the procurement process in education program in various regions, G-Watch initiated a local hubs with distinct local partners. The Local Hubs members were tasked to facilitate school-based monitoring in their respective divisions. The facilitation activities included (1) conduct of briefing orientation for the school-based monitoring teams (SBMTs) (2) deployment of the SBMTs to the projects to be monitored (3) consolidation of the monitoring tools (4) processing of monitoring results and (5) sending report to the National Coordinating Group. Through the facilitation of the Local Hubs, a total of Php 391M out of the Php 894M worth of projects were monitored with corresponding reports.

A lot of lessons were learned from the continuous sustainability efforts of G-Watch. These lessons were as follows: (a) CSOs engage their government when they see the need to take part in the process, but steps back when the latter opens the systems for participation; (b) due to limited resources, CSOs cannot attain the same regularity and extensiveness like the government in conducting its social accountability efforts; (c) volunteerism, as proven by the project, is still present but the issues on the need operational support is valid, especially for coordinating with stakeholders, mobilizing and capacitating CSOs and preparation of reports.

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