No let-up on lifestyle checks – Ombudsman
By Rose Palacio
Davao City (13 September) -- Lifestyle checks on government officials are continuing without let-up to address concerns raised by the international donor community.
Deputy Ombudsman for Mindanao Humphrey T. Monteroso said "our country has still a long way to go to eradicate graft and corruption but President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has done so much to improve governance."
For one, he said lifestyle checks "promote integrity by strengthening the threat of detection and retribution of misbehavior."
Under the law, all government officials are required to submit statement of assets and liabilities after the end of every year to check on their accumulated wealth.
The yearly submission of assets and liabilities also covers net worth and other financial and business interests of public officials, their spouses and relatives.
Reports about corruption in the Philippines have discouraged foreign investors from coming over and pouring out investments.
Widespread corruption has hampered the President's efforts to revitalize the country's economy.
He said President Macapagal-Arroyo is serious in this fight against corruption as international agencies have expressed their concern over it.
The President's fight against corruption requires the increased participation of the local government units (LGUs), local law enforcement and the community itself.
Ombudsman Monteroso said, "the all-out campaign of the government against graft and corruption needs public trust and get the job done."
One of the government's efforts in curbing corruption is the continuous lifestyle checks on government officials and the series of dismissal and suspensions on those found to be corruption.
This is a battle that should be joined by everybody. Beyond cleansing the bureaucracy, it is a campaign for moral values among the entire citizenry, the Deputy Ombudsman for Mindanao said. (PIA XI) [top]