A new national civil society network trained to monitor education budget and procurement

Last September 23-25, around 70 youth participants from the National Capital Region (NCR), Bicol, Palawan, Cebu, Northern Mindanao, and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) came together to attend the Multiply-Ed Division-level and National-level Briefing Orientation Seminar to be held in Acacia Hotel, Davao City.

Led by the Center for Youth Advocacy and Networking (CYAN), in cooperation with Government Watch (G-Watch), the three-day event convened and capacitated youth volunteer-monitors that would form part of accountability teams for the division-level and national-level monitoring of education governance in the Philippines.

The accountability teams were oriented on accountability basics and its applications by Ms. Joy Aceron, Convenor-Director of Government Watch (G-Watch). G-Watch mentors and officers all throughout the seminar taught the members of the accountability teams how to use the X-Ed monitoring tools covering the following:

  • Division- and national-level learning continuity processes;
  • Local education governance;
  • Education-related procurements; and
  • Education budget.

There were also key government offices and other civil society organizations who served as resource persons, making the briefing-orientation seminar one of the more comprehensive seminars in preparing civil society monitors to engage and check government’s public financial management, particularly in education governance.

On the first day, participants were oriented by a representative from the Department of Education (DepEd) on its Learning Continuity Plan. Mrs. Maria Consuelo Cabjuan Doble from the Synergeia Foundation then talked about Local Education Governance, specifically the Local School Board, education budget at the local level, and LGU mandates on education.

Government procurement was the highlight of the second day as Director Akmad J. Usman from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Region XI talked about the basics of government procurement, observer’s guide and ethical considerations.

For the third and last day, Ms. Zillah Joanne Emberga from DBM Region XI talked about public financial management and CSO participation in government budget process. Mrs. Merzi Florencia Tan of E-Net Philippines and Mr. Alce Quitalig of Social Watch Philippines shared their experiences on how CSOs can effectively engage the education budget through budget analysis and preparation of alternative budget.

The Briefing Orientation Seminar is part of the Multiply-Ed (X-Ed) project, a youth-led, multi-level, and multi-sectoral initiative that aims to improve transparency, participation, and accountability in various levels of education governance, particularly in implementing learning continuity plans for Senior High Schools and the transition to face-to-face classes post-COVID. This project is funded by the Global Partnership for Education’s Education Out Loud (EOL), which supports civil society organizations in influencing education policies to meet the needs of the community, especially the vulnerable and marginalized.

Check out more photos from the seminar here. For more information, message multiply-ed [at] cyanpilipinas.org or visit https://www.facebook.com/MultiplyEdPH.