i-budget.mo Community Representatives for Brgy Bagong Silang Chosen

Bright smiles for the future. Community representatives, together with the IBM Project Team and representatives from Caloocan City’s Planning Department, pose after a long day of brainstorming and project proposal development.

Caloocan City, Manila - 26 community leaders, representing various sectors of development in Barangay 176 Bagong Silang, attended the Project Proposal Workshop conducted by the i-budget.mo (IBM) Project Team, with keynote speaker Mme. Aurora Ciego of the Caloocan City Planning and Development Council.

The day started with around 100 participants from the different districts of Barangay 176, chosen from the various leaders who attended the first general assembly. Mme. Gladys Selosa of ANSA-EAP introduced them to the Public Financial Management Cycle, and provided the foundation as to where where the IBM participatory budgeting project stands.

The participants were also introduced to the different online and offline modes of feedback of IBM, particularly the SMS system, the Android mobile application and the responsive website. They were given calling cards with the information on how to register for the online platforms, and were encouraged to spread the word to their families, neighbors and peers.

“It’s appealing,” IBM Project Associate Eby Kangleon noted. “Hopefully we’ll have more people registering for the online systems.”

i-budget.mo’s goal is to establish an online-offline series of platforms to improve the system of participatory budgeting. It aims to complement and supplement existing mechanisms by employing information and communication technology (ICTs),  utilized in community mobilization, citizen involvement in identifying project prioritization, and enhancing transparency in governance.

The online platform broadens means for community feedback and government response, while the offline one encourages more proactive citizen participation in the local budget process.

The next step was handled by Prof. Jalton Taguibao, who facilitated the introduction of the clustered ideas from the 1st general assembly (brainstorming session) and the community representative selection.

The citizens were then given the chance to choose their cluster based on their advocacy, competence and interest, focusing on the word clouds that the brainstorming session has yielded. Once they have chosen their respective clusters and discussed in more detail the ideas therein, the citizen participants were then asked to vote for their community representatives per cluster to attend the more intensive project proposal development, to be held later in the afternoon.

Ideal characteristics for IBM community representatives include:

  • commitment to the advocacy
  • excellent leadership and team management skills
  • good communication skills in English and/or in Filipino,
  • availability in terms of schedules for coordination, proposal monitoring and other related activities, and;
  • willingness to engage in training, consultations and cascading of lessons

“Maganda doon, self-selection, yun talagang may passion sa kanyang proyektong gustong isulong ang napili at pumili sa sarili niya,” Roy Choco, IBM’s IT Liaison Officer, said. “The good thing there is self-selection, meaning the ones who have the passion for their projects are the ones who volunteer and get chosen by his or her peers.”

If the morning session was led by the ANSA-EAP Team, the afternoon session focused on the active involvement of government officials in the IBM Project. Mme. Aurora Ciego, Head of the City Planning and Development Council, spearheaded the project proposal development. She introduced the format of project proposals, and explained in detail its different parts. Project proposal templates were distributed in both the English and Filipino languages.

The community representatives are given one week to develop their ideas by doing on-the-ground research for a more detailed project proposal submission. July 7, 2014 marks the final submission of their proposals, which will then undergo the IBM voting process.

“We’re right on track,” Chad Osorio, IBM Project Manager, stated.

Stay tuned for more IBM activities at Caloocan City! The i-budget.mo Project is funded by Hivos through the Southeast Asia Technology and Transparency Initiative (SEATTI). For more details, check out www.ibudgetmo.org or email us at info@ibudgetmo.org.