Data should be at the heart of governance.”

This was the statement of Representative Joey Salceda during his keynote address at 3D, Set, Go! The PH3D Culminating Event. 

At the event, four local government units, namely Pasig City, the municipalities of Arteche and Guiuan in Eastern Samar, and the Provincial Government of Sorsogon, narrated their experiences in implementing evidence-based policymaking. These LGUs are partner sites of the Data-Driven Development in the Philippines (PH3D) project, a project of Action for Economic Reforms co-funded by the European Union.

The PH3D project, which is coming to a close in December 2022, aims to make local government units across Luzon and Visayas more responsive to the needs of their constituents through data-informed and technology-enabled participatory decision-making. 

In Guiuan and Arteche, dashboards were created and adopted to guide their disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) policies. Guiuan’s dashboard guides the allocation of their DRRM fund, while Arteche’s dashboard contains maps of their disaster vulnerable areas and informed their anticipatory disaster response.

Mr. Rechie Tugawin of the Pasig City LGU discussed their experience working on freedom of information (FOI) in the LGU. “Pasig was the first city in Metro Manila to have an FOI ordinance. The goal was to turn Pasig from a pioneer to a model LGU,” said Ms. Malou Mangahas of the Right to Know, Right Now! (R2KRN) Coalition, Pasig’s civil society partner through the 3D Project. With the help of PH3D, Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto signed an ordinance creating a  technical working group to improve  the implementation of its freedom of information ordinance.

Meanwhile, the Sorsogon LGU identified health as their priority, and through PH3D, PhilHealth’s Universal Health Care Maturity Level Assessment Test (MLAT) and Philippine Primary Care Studies (PPCS) tools were digitized. Former Sorsogon Governor Chiz Escudero extended a message of support at the event, noting that PH3D capacitated Sorsogon to improve its health services and pandemic response.

As the project comes to a close, the PH3D team discussed their sustainability plans. They expressed their hope that the LGUs will strengthen data-driven decision-making by passing local board resolutions or ordinances to use the dashboards officially, and that project sites will serve as pioneers and pilot sites for replication or expansion in other LGUs.  “It’s important that the community itself is empowered. If we instill the data-driven culture in our constituents, people will demand it from the government,” said Mayor Roland Boie Evardone of Arteche, Eastern Samar.

“The PH3D project laid the foundations for the LGUs to develop a culture for data appreciation and for embracing a people-centered, data-driven approach to participatory development.  We believe the LGUs are 3D-ready, and all set to go and sustain the gains achieved,” said Victoria Quimbo, PH3D Overall Project Coordinator.

Watch out for the video recording of the event at https://www.facebook.com/aer.ph/