GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 9 Oct) – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has chosen three key cities in Region 12 as expansion areas for its Citizen Satisfaction Index System (CSIS) program.
Reynaldo Bungubung, DILG Region 12 director, said they are currently working on the implementation of the initiative in the cities of Cotabato, Koronadal and this city, which were among the 52 cities nationwide that were targeted by the agency’s Bureau of Local Government Supervision for its rollout this year.
He said they have tapped three universities in the area – Notre Dame University in Cotabato City, Mindanao State University in this city and Notre Dame of Marbel University in Koronadal City – as partners for its implementation.
CSIS, which is a component of the DILG’s Local Governance Watch program, is an initiative launched by the agency two years ago that seeks to enhance people’s participation in governance; promote transparency and accountability; and encourage better performance by local government units (LGUs).
It specifically utilizes a set of data tools designed to collect and generate relevant citizens’ feedback on local government service delivery performance and on the citizens’ general satisfaction.
A DILG briefer said the program aims to “generate citizens’ perspectives or views on the reach and quality of basic public services” as well as “provide an information handle for citizens and the civil society to allow an informed engagement in the workings of a local government.”
In Region 12, the agency initially piloted the initiative last year in the cities of Tacurong and Kidapawan.
Bungubung said they recently signed a memorandum of agreement with the three universities, which will serve as the program’s Local Resource Institutes (LRIs).
Under the agreement, he said the three LRIs will lead the fieldwork activities and other related components of the program.
“These academic institutions, which are known for having the expertise in social research and community development, will serve as our intermediaries,” he said.
Bungubung said they consider the selected LRIs as the most capable in terms of establishing rapport with the citizens across the different socio-demographic backgrounds of the LGUs that will be covered by the initiative.
He added that a set of cluster trainings will be conducted nationwide to capacitate key personnel of the LRIs who will take part in its implementation, specifically the component surveys at the local levels.
The DILG had targeted highly urbanized and independent component cities in the country as focal areas of the program’s implementation for 2013 and 2014.
In 2015 and 2016, the agency is planning to roll out the CSIS initiative in component cities as we all first and second class municipalities.
“As designed, the CSIS shall focus on citizen’s assessment of public services with reference to shared or purely local services such as education, health, environment, peace and order, and welfare,” the DILG said.