How Vico Sotto answered student’s assignment on public participation in LGUs

March 30, 2022 - 3:23 PM
Vico Sotto and notes
Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto speaks to the crowd in this photo from his Facebook page on Dec. 27, 2021 and a photo of Sotto's notes to a public administration student as shared on his Twitter account on March 29, 2022. (Photos from Facebook/Vico Sotto and Twitter/VicoSotto)

Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto responded to a public administration student who asked him his thoughts about citizens’ participation in the planning processes of local government units.

Reports said that the city chief was in a campaign caucus when he wrote his thoughts for the group assignment. A caucus is a political party gathering in which party members choose candidates for the elections.

The question of the student reads:

“Hi, Mayor Vico! I’m a 2nd year Public Administration student. I just want to ask about your thoughts (on) this question for a group assignment: How the public can best participate in the planning process of LGUs?”

Sotto answered with the following:

Ordinary citizens should take advantage of the mechanisms for participation that the government has to offer.

Brgy. level — Brgy. assemblies, brgy. development councils
City level — Join/form NGOs/CSOS… get accredited by the LGU, participate in the selection of NGOs/CSOS reps for the local special bodies such as the City Development Council, etc. (search for DILG M.C.) → 
Dito dumadaan budget ng LGU bago maisalang sa Sanggunian.

Sotto also apologized for his penmanship.

The mayor uploaded the photo of his answer in response to a private Twitter user. He tweeted that he was referring to the Department of Interior and Local Government‘s Memorandum Circular No. 2019-72.

“Good luck sa assignment!” Sotto added.

His notes garnered 8,900 likes, more than 800 retweets and over 1,000 quote tweets so far.

Some lauded Sotto’s answers about governance.

“Much can be learned from good public servants who take the time to share their knowledge. To more Vicos in government service!” a Twitter user commented.

“Yes to community-driven development!” another online user shared with a revolving hearts emoji.

“Omggg I’m an active participant (in) some LGU planning processes since then, and I must say this is trueeeee!!!” exclaimed a different Filipino.

The DILG’s Memorandum Circular 2019-72 refers to the guidelines on accreditation of civil society organizations and selection of representatives to the local special bodies.

The memorandum cited the Local Government Code of 1991 which mandates local government units “to promote the establishment and operation of people’s organizations, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector, to make them active partners in the pursuit of local autonomy.”

The memorandum added that it is also “to directly involve them in the plans, programs, projects or activities of the local government unit, such as, but not limited to, membership in local special bodies (LSBs) and involvement in the delivery of basic services and facilities.”

“Good governance is vital in the pursuit of excellence in local public administration and development. This Department recognizes that in forming a sustainable foundation of good governance, it is not enough to concentrate on developing the internal capacity of local governments,” it said.

“It is equally important to develop and strengthen partnerships with CSOs in order to empower citizens to articulate their needs as they participate in the decision-making process, program planning, implementation and monitoring at the local level which can increase the responsiveness and efficiency of local governments in delivering services,” the memorandum added.

It defined CSOs as civil society organizations or non-profit associations that work to improve society and the human condition.