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PIA Press Release

Commentary: Gov't determined to weed out graft, corruption

By Jessie R. Valdez

San Fernando City, La Union (13 November) -- Determined to weed out and win the war on graft and corruption, the Arroyo administration is taking all means to fight it.

Although the Government acknowledges corruption as a rooted problem in the Philippine system, it would be hard for us to believe the report saying "RP corruption worsened in 2005". With the many deep reforms undertaken by the Arroyo Administration and has a comprehensive blueprint cutting across lifestyle checks, prosecution of high profile cases, red tape reduction, stringent procedures at all levels, and better pay for public servants, has plugged revenue leaks and cut down kickbacks from business deals, the country's corruption rating would have been better.

According to the 2006 Corruption Perceptions Index of the Transparency International (TI), corruption in the Philippines has worsened, with its ranking dropping to 121 from 117 last year.

Good governance has been one of the primary concerns of PGMA from the very start of her administration and part of that is the elimination or minimization of opportunities for graft and corruption. The Government was never remiss in its campaign vs. corruption in the bureaucracy. The President wanted to stamped out this malady because it diverts money that should be used to benefit the people and the country and can impede international investments.

Previous report said that with the Senate's ratification of the United Nation Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), it may be easier for the government to recover ill gotten wealth and other assets stashed abroad by corrupt officials.

The UNCAC gives comprehensive set of standards, measures and rules that governments can use to fight corruption. It criminalize all acts of corruption both in public and private sectors and provide mutual legal assistance to concerned countries.

The ratification of the UNCAC is a reaffirmation of the country's support for global fight against corruption.

Meanwhile, the Arroyo Administration has been aggressively putting in place economic reforms to sustain economic growth and significantly has paid off due to the new revenues - RVAT collections, the surging stock market and increasing exports and investments.

In a statement, Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez said, "the Philippines is on the right track in enforcing integrity, efficiency, and transparency in all transactions and will breach the threshold sooner than expected."

With the anti-corruption drive of the Government, will spare no one. The corruption problem remains to be a strong challenge for all of us and not the Government only. We must unite and work together to lessen this malady and win the fight at all cost and we hope that graft and corruption and other shenanigans in the bureaucracy be nipped in the bud shortly. (PIA La Union) [top]

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