"Ormocanong Panagtambayayong": Grassroots Leaders as partners in Governance, transitioning from Beneficiary to Ownership Approach




Since July 2022

Type of experience

participatory budgeting participatory planning diagonisis space/workshop... hearigns, forums and assemblies citizen assemblies/juries e-government, open government


governance and transparency social inclusion civic responsibility


SDG 17



The City Government of Ormoc wanted to increase the institutionalisation of citizen's participation in public affairs.


  • To increase citizen's rights in terms of political participation
  • To connect different tools of participation within a participatory democracy "ecosystem"
  • To improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the mechanisms of participatory democracy
  • To improve the quality of public decision-making through the mechanisms of participatory democracy
  • To improve the evaluation and accountability of the mechanisms of participatory democracy
  • To improve any public policy through the active participation of the public



Civil Society Organisations (CSO)


Ormoc City is a Philippine city counting 230,998 inhabitants (2022), one of the fastest-growing economies in the Visayas area, serving as the centre for commerce and industry in the Province of Leyte with an estimated 500 civil society organisations where 108 of which are accredited to the Ormoc City Government. Known for its rapid development and expansion of government services to proactively address pressing concerns of the Ormocanons, Ormoc City has been recognized as a recipient of multiple local, regional, national, and international awards for its best practices on good governance. 


The Civil Society Organisations (CSO) were accredited by the local government but no training was given to the representatives to interact with the other policy makers, neither monitoring nor coordination For many accredited organisations, the accreditation was just an act of securing the imprimatur of the local government of the legitimate existence of an organisation. There was no clear mechanism for their effective participation. Decisions were made mostly by the local government on who might be given the chance to work with the government. 


This is why grassroots leaders began to be involved in the local special bodies of the Ormoc City Government. Local Special Bodies (LSBs) should facilitate the creation of voice from grassroot leaders and put them on equal voting powers similar to the functions of an elected representative and participate in decision-making processes to monitor, evaluate, plan, and review programs and policies of the government. A more effective mechanism would also help grassroots leaders realise and appreciate the process and see themselves as partners of the government.


  • Phase 1. accreditation of CSOs (July-October 2022)

CSOs submitted their application to be accredited by the Office of the Majority Floor Leader (OMFL). Then, the Committee on Cooperatives, Accreditation of CSOs, and People's Participation convened and invited the applicant CSO to appear at a hearing to screen the eligibility of their application for the accreditation. Once approved at the committee level, the applicant organisation was endorsed to the plenary for the passage of a resolution granting LGU-Accreditation to the CSO and awarding of a Certificate of Accreditation.



  • Phase 2: Election to Local Special Bodies (November 2022)



The total number of Accredited CSOs is categorised and profiled based on their sector. OMFL communicates to each secretariat of the 15 local special bodies (LSBs) to determine and submit a list of sectors that should be represented and to sit as members in the LSB. A second conference is organised to elect representatives to the local special bodies. 

The election guidelines were designed to make sure that CSO representatives reflected Ormoc diversity and that vulnerable groups were given the opportunity to interact with policymakers. For example, the election guidelines prescribed that senior citizens, women and other sectors would also be represented in the LSBs. This innovation departed from the traditional practice of sending only farmers to the LSBs. 



As of now, accredited CSOs may enjoy their rights and privileges by initiating partnership activities/programs with all government offices and engage in meaningful dialogue as regular seating members of the LSBs. In the past, the election of CSO representatives was simple. They were convened and appointed to sit in the CDC, School Board, and Health Board. The process was changed to ensure proper and effective representation. Now, CSOs work in collaboration with Local Special Bodies (LSBs) to determine the priority sectors. There are 66 accredited CSOs under the category of People's Organization (PO) who are beneficiaries of grants/assistance, 34 of these POs (51.5%) have taken an active role as partners of the Local Government Unit by having been elected as CSO Representatives to LSBs which is an output of this approach. Accredited CSOs provided inputs in the creation, review, and implementation of ordinances concerning their sector such as Employment, Labor, COVID regulations, Transportation/Traffic Regulations, Sports, Education and Scholarship, Housing programs, and many more. 

People's participation is institutionalised in the whole governance mechanisms of the City Government



City of Ormoc official website

City of Ormoc - 17th IOPD Award Application