Sign the CSO Manifesto for Enabling and Strengthening Civic Space in the Philippines

February 22, 2023

The Council for People’s Development and Governance (CPDG) calls on civil society organizations (CSOs), various stakeholders, development partners, and individuals advocating for people’s development and rights from across the Philippines to unite in calling for the government strengthen and enable civic spaces to ensure development plans and policies contribute to social justice and genuinely sustainable development.

The manifesto draws from the recommendations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Development Assistance Committee (OECD-DAC) on enabling civil society in development cooperation and humanitarian assistance. The OECD-DAC Recommendation highlights the importance of civil society engagement in addressing today’s multiple crises in line with peace and sustainable development.

This united call was forged during the National CSO Strategy Workshop on Enabling Civil Society on 29-30 August 2022. The workshop brought together CSOs working with various sectors and regions from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Stakeholders also came together on October 12, 2023 to unite on indicators to monitor the realization of the key asks and corresponding sub asks of the manifesto.

The CSO Manifesto was presented in a multi-stakeholder dialogue on October 13, 2022. Representatives of government agencies, diplomats including United Nations Philippines Office, officers from the European Union (EU) Delegation, representatives from the embassies of Finland, Belgium, Argentina, and the United Kingdom expressed support for the CSO Manifesto and reiterated their commitment in strengthening civil society participation in development and democratic processes. Officials from the Philippines’ Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), National Anti-Poverty Commission, and the Commission on Human Rights also expressed their support to the CSO Manifesto and gave their commitment in creating enabling conditions for civil society participation.

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