The Citizen Action Network for Local Government Unit Accountability and Performance Project – to give it its full name – aims to help improve the level and quality of public services provided to our communities in general and to the poorest among us in particular. It has been designed around the principle that the more we as ordinary Filipinos can start to understand how local government works, the more we can monitor, engage, shape - and ultimately ensure it is always working for us.
In his inaugural address, President Benigno Aquino III called time on corruption and the age old ways of doing business in government. Most famously, he signalled a revolutionary change in the relationship between government and the governed with his announcement that the People Are His Boss (Kayo ang Boss Ko). Three years on, we can continue to wait until the President provides us with his blueprint to turn these great words into reality –or perhaps, and as CANA believes – it is time we the People stand up to show we are indeed in charge.
Until now, we have always been looking at government from the outside as passive spectators and as bystanders: Not anymore. CANA believes the route to real People Power is via information, education, organisation, advocacy and participation. Working simultaneously at the local and national level provides us all with practical opportunities on a daily basis in our communities. It also gives us a national voice and stage. So CANA is working to help set up a minimum of 28 local citizen action groups for accountability – but we hope many more groups will join together to build a national network for learning and sharing. Most importantly, CANA’s future rests not with the few groups that launched it, but with you – the people and communities across the country who will take future ownership and charge of CANA, just as we all need to take ownership and charge of government.
Understand and organize. Monitor and engage.