Indonesia and the Philippines share experiences on the process of functional and resource transfer to sub-national administration
- ចេញផ្សាយនា អង្គារ, 10 កុម្ភៈ 2015 10:32
Phnom Penh, 08 January 2015: Two speakers from Indonesia and the Philippines on 08 January 2015 shared their experiences on the process of functional and resource transfer to sub-national administrations in the two countries with civil servants from national and sub-national levels of Cambodia.
The exchange provided inputs to officials of the Royal Government, who are involved in Sub-National Democratic Development (SNDD) reform in Cambodia, on decentralization of functions, resources and staff in the two countries, with special emphasis on organization of public functions, to sub-national administration.
The experience sharing workshop, organized by NCDD Secretariat in cooperation with EU SPACE (GIZ) at Inter-Continental Hotel, was partaken by more than 6 participants who are representatives and staff of NCDD Secretariat, representatives from Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Economy and Finance, Ministry of Civil Services, Ministry of Rural Development, Ministry of Health, and Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, and representatives from Provincial/Municipal/ District councils and Boards of Governors from Battambang and Kampong Chhnang provinces (6 Districts, 2 Municipalities of the two provinces).
Dr. Alex B. Brilliantes, Professor and Former Dean of the National Faculty of Public Administration and Governance of the University of Philippines and a member of the Supreme Commission on Education, presented that decentralization in the Philippines began in 1992 with the introduction of the Law on Sub-National Government or State Republic Law 160 on Decentralization, which transfers power to sub-national institutions to be responsible for providing basic services such as health, social, agricultural, environmental services, some parts of public work, education and tourism services and other services including infrastructure support.
He added that decentralization has assigned some mandatory powers including adjustment of types of agricultural land, enforcement of the national law on construction , process related to tricycles, process of land distribution, etc. In line with such transfer, financial resources are also increased through the transfer of financial resources (internal revenue division) to sub-national government institutions. Sub-national government, especially municipal government has focused more on entrepreneurship to generate resources from service delivery. For example, they have piloted partnership between private sector the sub-national government in the areas of Build Operation Transfer, Bond Floats, Contracting Out and Public-Private Partnership.
As for Indonesia, Professor Muchlis Hamdi from Indonesia presented that more powers are transferred to local government. Nearly 2.1 Million civil servants have changed their status to staff of sub-national government. Power transfer is followed by transfer of structure, personnel, financial resources, offices and documents. Local government is given discretion to use their authorities according to their priorities.
In the closing ceremony of the Experience Sharing Workshop, H.E. Sak Setha, Secretary of State, Ministry of Interior and Head of NCDD Secretariat, said that understanding about local administration in ASEAN countries is very important to address different issues. This requires involvement of national and sub-national administrations. Especially, developed countries should give a hand to countries with weak economy.
Cambodia has embarked on SNDD reform since 2002, through which Commune/Sangkat Councils are directly elected by citizens, and Communes/Sangkats are given fund to support local development.
H.E. Sak Setha said that citizens and politicians are happy and supportive for this reform.
In recent years, SNDD reform has placed emphasis on learning from experiences of ASEAN countries.
H.E. Sak Setha has encouraged practitioners to learn from experiences of those countries. “There are good experiences in ASEAN countries and Cambodia should learn from those countries. However, we cannot copy these systems totally to Cambodia because those countries have different political, social, economic, cultural and traditional contexts, etc. However, what should be learned is experience.”
H.E. Sak Setha continued that in terms of functional and resource transfer, compared with Indonesia and the Philippines, decentralization in Cambodia is relatively slow due to differences of resources and conditions of Cambodia. Therefore, it has taken time to date.
In Cambodia, functional transfer requires agreement between ministries and agencies which are transferors and sub-national administrations which are recipients of functions. Functional assignment is done together with transfer of human and financial resources.
Currently, five ministries are working on functional mapping and three ministries have already proposed what functions to be transferred to what levels of sub-national administration. So far three functions have been transferred on pilot basis to sub-national administration including 1. Management of Health Center (5 districts in 2 provinces: Battambang and Pursat provinces); 2. Rural Sanitation (10 districts in 2 provinces: Kampong Speu and Tbong Khmum provinces); and 3. Maintenance of Rural Water Supply System (in 7 districts in 2 provinces: Kampot and Tbong Khmum provinces).
In 2015-2017, more transfer of functions to sub-national administration will be piloted as outlined in the Second phase of Three-Year Implementation Plan (IP3 Phase 2) 2015-2017 of the National Program for Sub-National Democratic Development.
“EU SPACE” stands for “Strengthening Performance, Accountability and Civic Engagement of Democratic Councils in Cambodia”. EU SPACE has been designed to support the NCDD in implementing the NP-SNDD and is part of the programme-based approach. Funded by Germany, the EU and Sweden, EU SPACE is the joint technical cooperation mechanism of the NCDD and EU Development Partners and complements the financial contributions of Sweden and the EU to the NP-SNDD basket fund. It aims to achieve the overall objective of sub-national government agencies and councils being more efficient, transparent and accountable (to the citizens) in fulfilling their responsibilities. NCDDS
Dr. Alex B. Brilliantes, Professor and Former Dean of the National Faculty of Public Administration and Governance of the University of Philippines and a member of the Supreme Commission on Education, presented