CSOs to evaluate performance of 2 Davao Norte towns

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/6 February) — The Caucus of Development Non-government Organizations Networks (CODE-NGO) will conduct a survey among civil society organizations (CSOs) on the performance of local government units in Dujali and Carmen towns in Davao del Norte.

Christine Ann de Villa, project coordinator of CODE-NGO’s Sustained Participatory Local Governance Project, said in a media forum at The Marco Polo Davao here Wednesday that at least 10 volunteers from CSOs operating in Dujali and Carmen recently underwent training on the conduct of the Civil Society Report Card (CSRC) survey.

She explained that the CSRC system measures the level of satisfaction with the municipal government’s performance in the areas of service delivery and good governance.

Villa said the conduct of the CSRC and its results will “help facilitate civil societies’ participation in advancing democratic governance, serve as basis for dialogues with local government officials on reforms, monitor government’s adherence to the reforms and educate the public about democratic governance processes so it is able to hold government accountable.”

Involved in the surveys will be at least 50 CSOs, which will be identified next week and then interviewed until the end of February, Villa told reporters.

“If the CSOs think that the immediate concern in their municipalities is peace and order, then this can be a basis of a dialogue with the electoral candidates,” she said.

In turn, she added that the local candidates in the 2013 midterm elections will be asked for their commitment on the agenda that will come out from the surveys.

Villa pointed out that the long-term goal of the CSRC is for other municipalities to conduct the same survey not only in time of elections.

Last year, CODE-NGO conducted the survey in Leyte in the Visayas, Laguna in Luzon and Zamboanga del Norte and Maguindanao in Mindanao.

The surveys are being done in municipalities and cities that are not highly urbanized such as Davao, which has been the subject of several surveys like the Citizen Satisfaction Index System of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Villa said.

“The CSOs will have stronger position in presenting an agenda to the LGUs with a systematic and scientific survey than that of a single group. The survey would give their advocacy and concerns more weight,” she said.

Sought for comments, Romulo Tagalo, Davao del Norte provincial information officer, said in a text message that they welcome the initiative of CODE-NGO.

“We would like to know from independent bodies the evaluation of the development governance of our LGUs. This will complement the Seal of Good Housekeeping given by the DILG to the LGUs of Dujali and Carmen,” he added.

The CSRC project is funded by the National Endowment for Democracy, a US-based non-profit organization, and implemented by CODE-NGO. (Lorie Ann A. Cascaro/MindaNews)

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