APG Forum on Local Finance
“Transitions and Transformations:
Improving Public Services through Fiscal Decentralization”
20-21 June 2017 | Seoul, Korea
BLGF OIC Executive Director Niño Raymond Alvina and OIC Director Ma. Pamela Quizon attended the third Asian Public Governance (APG) Forum of Local Finance hosted by the OECD Korea Policy Center and Korea Legislation Research Institute (KLRI), with the theme “Transitions and Transformations: Improving Public Services through Fiscal Decentralization” last 20-21 June 2017 which was held in Seoul, South Korea. Participating in the forum were experts on local finance and fiscal decentralization from Asia-Pacific countries (Australia, Canada, Cambodia, Germany, Indonesia, Korea, Myanmar, Philippines, Russia and Turkey) and international organizations including Anwar Shah, former advisor to the World Bank.
The forum provided open and participatory platform for policy makers and experts to discuss practices and lessons in relation to decentralization, subnational finance and fiscal management alongside with other public governance issues in local finance and subnational service delivery. The forum encouraged discussions in subnational government structure and fiscal framework through the exchange of country experiences, and understanding of the current status and trends in decentralization and local finance.
Several guidelines in achieving fiscal decentralization were discussed, putting emphasis on the de-politicization of the process and building consensus on the policies being issued. It was also noted that decentralization is successful and meaningful when the local governments are economically stable, and have the financial capacity to deliver public services and to finance public investments. This can be achieved by strengthening the local taxing power and increasing money transfer to local government through various means such as raising their local share tax rate, expanding social welfare grant, among others.
In addition, the delegates also shared their views on the having appropriate tools and mechanisms for monitoring and evaluation of subnational government performance in a decentralized set-up, which may provide inputs for the development of policies for an improved governance. Further, the forum emphasized the importance of having harmonized central and subnational government policies, and establishing clear delineation of public services supported by different levels of government for more responsive service delivery.
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