Commentary: Gov't serious in fight vs. corruption
Davao City (3 October) -- The government is serious about cleansing the ranks from graft and corrupt practices.
Aside from putting in place anti-corruption programs in every department and agency, Presidential spokesperson and Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye said that the government had also intensified lifestyle checks and cutting red tape in government transactions.
The national government is also institutionalizing a strong anti-graft team which consists of the Ombudsman, the Commission on Audit and the Presidential Anti-Graft Commission.
Bunye also cited the involvement of the private sector in checking corrupt practices.
"The private sector and civil society are in the loop and the Government is working to chip away at the culture of corruption with procedural measures, prosecution of offenders, and moral rearmament programs," he said.
Bunye bared that the administration under President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was fully aware that the World Bank and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) were keeping an eye on corruption as a threat to anti-poverty programs.
"The Government assures its international partners of its unswerving determination in eradicating corruption and red tape," he said.
President Arroyo recently cited 10 government agencies for their efforts and achievements in waging anti-graft campaign as embodied in the Integrity Development Plan.
Topping the list of best-performing government agencies in the anti-graft and corruption drive was the Department of Health (DOH), followed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
Office of the President (OP) led by Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Philippine National Police (PNP), and the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA).
Chaired by Constancia de Guzman, by The Presidential Anti-Graft Commission (PAGC) rated the efforts and achievements of the government agencies in the war against graft and corruption.
The PAGC is the lead agency monitoring compliance by government agencies with the Integrity Development Action Plan (IDAP) which contains 22 anti-corruption measures crafted by senior government officials during a PAGC workshop on the eradication of red tape in state agencies.
The 22 items in the IDAP include the strengthening of internal controls to prevent graft and corruption, adoption of a single identification (ID) system for government officials and employees, and education strategies such as integration of anti-corruption modules for elementary and secondary levels.
Also among the 22 IDAP items is the adoption of deterrence and investigation measures, including the setting up of an Internal Affairs Unit and publication of blacklisted offenders.
On the other hand, presidential anti-corruption Tony Kwok said the national government was gaining headway checking corruption though it remained a problem but "it's not really getting serious."
Kwok cited a Social Weather Station survey, which said that 57 percent of companies paid bribes in 2003, compared to 46 percent in 2006.
He said the Bureau of Internal Revenues (BIR) and Bureau of Customs (BoC) also posted better collections. (PIA XI/JMDA) [top]