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Transparency

RA 10633, Sec. 91. Official Website and Transparency Seal. To enhance transparency and enforce accountability, all agencies of government, including Constitutional Offices enjoying fiscal autonomy, SUCs, GOCCs and LGUs shall maintain an official website where its transparency seal shall be posted and which shall contain the following information: (i) the agency’s mandates and functions, names of its officials with their position and designation; and contact information; (ii) physical accountability reports, as required under NBC Nos. 507 and 507-A dated January 31, 2007 and June 12, 2007, respectively, financial accountability reports, as required under COA and DBM JC No. 2013-1 dated March 15, 2013 and such guidelines as may be issued by the DBM; (iii) approved budgets and corresponding targets immediately upon approval of this Act; (iv) major programs and projects categorized in accordance with the five key result areas under EO No. 43, s. 2011; (v) the program/ project beneficiaries as identified in the applicable special provisions; (vi) the status of implementation of said program/ projects and project evaluation and/ or assessment reports; and (vii) the annual procurement plan, contracts awarded and the name of contractors/ suppliers/ consultants.

The respective heads of the agencies and their web administrators or their equivalent shall be responsible for ensuring compliance with this section. For this purpose, the DBM shall post on its official website the status of compliance by all agencies of the government.

Symbolism

A pearl buried inside a tightly-shut shell is practically worthless. Government information is a pearl, meant to be shared with the public in order to maximize its inherent value. The Transparency Seal, depicted by a pearl shining out of an open shell, is a symbol of a policy shift towards openness in access to government information. On the one hand, it hopes to inspire Filipinos in the civil service to be more open to citizen engagement; on the other, to invite the Filipino citizenry to exercise their right to participate in governance. This initiative is envisioned as a step in the right direction towards solidifying the position of the Philippines as the Pearl of the Orient – a shining example for democratic virtue in the region.