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Here’s how you could be a ‘Bantay Bayan’ volunteer even at home

As the world struggles against the COVID-19 pandemic, governments are pressured to implement the right policies and secure scarce yet much-needed resources faster than the virus can spread to kill millions. 

These trying times thus call for greater involvement and vigilance from every citizen—to push for swift and smart action from our governing officials. Amidst the quarantine, here’s how you can report what’s happening in your respective communities to better amplify its needs. 

GoodGovPH launched Bantay Bayan, a youth-led citizen watch program composed of volunteers and organizations that monitor the performance of local government units (LGU) in response to this public health crisis. 

Issues monitored by the volunteers include those involving corruption, human rights violations, and inefficiencies in delivering goods and services.

Executive director Dexter Yang says, “It’s part of promoting good governance during a crisis, where rapid disbursement and transfer of resources undermine transparency and accountability, which may lead to corrupt practices.”

Through a monitoring tool, volunteers track both the issues and the best practices in their respective localities. These reports are then acted on by the Bantay Bayan response team with legal and local government backgrounds.

Why volunteer?

For UP Law student LA Castro, to be a Bantay Bayan volunteer is the least he can do to serve the most vulnerable sectors in this crisis. 

“I just feel that something [has] to be done. Someone has to hold [government officials] accountable,” a 20-year old Cebu volunteer said after Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia publicly called out a local rapper over his personal dissent to the LGU’s quarantine measures.

Interested individuals may sign up as a volunteer through this registration form. Check out the Bantay Bayan primer for more details.

GoodGovPH is a youth-led organization that aims to champion good governance in the Philippines. You may reach them at [email protected].

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