Making transparency matter was the main thrust of the recently commenced PH EITI Roadshow. PH-EITI launched a nationwide effort to present the report findings to the local level bringing together stakeholders from the national and local government, civil society and community, and industry in select cities in the Philippines. The forum was titled “Forum on Natural Resource Governance: Making Transparency Matter”.
The first roadshow was held at Butuan City last July 15-16 catering to communities, mining companies, and local government units (LGUs) in CARAGA where a significant number of mining companies are operating. This was followed by another roadshow in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan last July 22-23 where oil and gas companies along with mining companies are located. The third leg was held at Cebu City, Region VII last July 29-30. The said region received the highest LGU receipts from mining among all regions in the country.
Bantay Kita as the CSO representative to the PH-EITI multi-stakeholder group (MSG) invited speakers from the BK network to serve as resource persons during the event. They discussed BK subnational initiatives to the audience as well as the CSOs’ role in ensuring transparency and accountability in the subnational level. Ms. Tess Tabada, a BK board member, attended the Cebu roadshow and talked about possible future directions for the EITI initiative. She said “the way to go for PH EITI is to go subnational because it is where the issues are”. Mr. Allan Barnacha, also a BK board member, served as resource speaker for the Palawan roadshow while Ms. Starjoan Villanueva, a BK board member, was resource speaker for the Butuan roadshow.
Each roadshow was conducted in two days, with the first day serving as a platform to introduce the PH-EITI, its report findings, and various issues with regards to the extractive industries. The main issues and topics tackled were: LGUs share from the national wealth including mining revenues, environmental compliance and upholding of indigenous people’s rights of mining companies, enforcing transparency framework in the local level, as well as social development and management programs sponsored by the mining companies.
The second day of the roadshow delivered workshops on filling out EITI templates catered to LGUs.
The next roadshow will be in Davao City from August 4-5 while the last roadshow will be held on August 19-20 in Metro Manila.