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The Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) met with Palawan Governor Jose Alvarez and his team on August 1, 2016 in consultation for the project Increasing Transparency in Extractive Industries in the Sub-National Level Project. The project, which won during the Global Innovation Competition, is funded by Making All Voices Count (MAVC) and Hivos International. The province of Palawan is selected as an innovation site based on its performance on the following levels:
Compliance with the EITI and participation to the initiative’s last two country reports;
Receipt of shares from national wealth; and
Presence of indigenous communities that have been affected by EI operations.
The consultation meeting, which was headed by ULAP Executive Director Czarina Medina-Guce, aimed to vet the project and get buy-in and support from the provincial government of Palawan. More so, it gave the project team a sense of the interplay of relationships between and among extractive industries stakeholders. Governor Alvarez and his team also provided further linkages with local stakeholders.
The project, which runs from June 2016 to May 2017, is considered to be the first in the Philippines to explore an innovation approach in conducting extractive industry transparency initiatives at the local level that goes beyond the transparency all sectors, but also provides for an avenue for localization of the decision-making and agenda-setting in the project sites.
The key objective of the project is to facilitate the use of technology-based platforms to increase transparency in extractive industries and improve relationships among the local stakeholders for effective agenda-setting and decision-making at the local level. In particular, the project will:
Bring together all of the stakeholders through a Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG) for a collaborative effort to spearhead the innovation and yield context-based information on the industry and the issues at the local level.
Facilitate info-mediation both in the national and local levels through the innovative technology-based platforms that will be created to further promote transparency and accountability among local stakeholders.
Enhance citizen engagement and participation in agenda-setting and policy-making and in translating local government shares from EI to projects and programs that will address their perceived needs.
The Project Team will start meeting with local sector leaders and other potential members of the MSG this August 2016.