The Macapagal Arroyo administration has adopted both administrative
and legislative initiatives to reduce, if not eliminate, the
bureacracy of corruption.
The intensified campaign takes cognizance of the cost of
corruption involving trillions of pesos, and costing the people
the prostitution of political institutions, the loss of lives and
honor to crime, and the loss of opportunities for a better future
for generations to come.
Presidential Anti-Graft Commission (PAGC)
The PAGC is the lead agency in the conduct of lifestyle checks on corrupt presidential appointees as part of the government's campaign for good governance and transparency.
To date, the PAGC has resolved 575 cases filed against Presidential appointees, of which 32 cases had punitive recommendations and 26 motu propio cases with nine punitive recommendations. It has likewise spearheaded the crafting of a National Anti-Corruption Plan in collaboration with the PCEG, Office of the Ombudsman and the civil society group Transparency and Accountability Network (TAN), which will be initially implemented by BIR, BOC, DPWH, DepEd, NLRC, DENR, DAR, DILG, DOH and DOJ.
Lifestyle Check Coalition
Composed of the Presidential Anti-Graft Commission, Civil Service Commission, Office of the President, National Bureau of Investigation, and Philippine National Police,this multi-sectoral coalition will conduct random lifestyle checks on government officials with the rank of director and above, including the First Gentleman. The initial conduct of the lifestyle check resulted to the filing of an administrative case against one government official and a fact finding investigation against four others.
Internal Audit System (IAS)
All government offices, agencies, Government Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCCs) , Government Financial Institutions (GFI), SUCs and local government units were directed to organize an Internal Audit System in their respective offices in order to ensure effective management and discharge of the responsibilities of government offices and minimize the occurence of illegal and immoral activities in the government.
Govt. Agencies Strive for Good Governance
In response to the President's calls for good governance, different government agencies have implemented measures to achieve the president's goals:
at the DPWH
Collaboration with the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption, the Government Watch, the Procurement Watch and designated persons by the Ombudsman in the task of maintaining transparency and prevention of graft and corruption in the deparatment's Bids and Awards Committee.
Dismissed five DPWH officials and filed administrative and graft
charges against 13 other DPWH officials for their involvement in a
vehicle repair scam;
at the PEA
PGMA Issued Administrative Order No. 53, on 13 December 2002, permanently
banning from government service the members of the Board of Public
Estates Authority involved in the anomalous construction of the
President Diosdado Macapagal Avenue. In addition, cases were filed
against the erring PEA officials before the Ombudsman.
at the BIR
From January 2002-June 2003, investigated and heard cases involving
227 BIR personnel for various offenses, 77 of which involved graft and
corruption. Of the 77 cases of graft and corruption, 46 personnel were
dismissed, 25 were suspended and 6 were reprimanded;
Letters of notice were sent to 19,447 taxpayers found to have had
underdeclared their sales, which resulted in the collection of P5.847
Billion, and other receivables of about P5.542 Billion. Some 11
taxpayers' cases for sales underdeclaration amounting to P427 Million
were referred to Office of the Government Corporate Council (OGCC) for prosecution. The OGCC has elevated the matter to the Department of Justice and the Office of the City Prosecutor for preliminary investigation with one case already filed with the
Regional Trial Court;
Filed graft and corruption charges in July 2003 against three
officials investigated to have disparate income vis-a-vis lifestyle/visible wealth.
Filed 17 counts of violation of the Anti-Money Laundering Act against
former ranking officials of the LBP -- Artemio San Juan, Ramon Joven,
and several others -- for diversion to private accounts of P205
million corporate income tax payments;
at the Bureau of Customs
Filed graft and corruption charges against an official who has a questionable large dollar account
Stepped up drive to curb smuggling of agricultural products. Seized 348,640 bags of rice in 2002 compared to 1,023,628 bags siezed in 2001. For the first quater of 2003, 16 more apprehensions were made involving 70,896 bags of rice. Apprehended 84 shipments of smuggled imported vegetables with an estimated value of P66,428,793 as of March 2003. Seized 14 container vans containing 10,5000 undeclared bags of ginger and onion, with an estimated value of P14 million.
Creation of the Bureau of Customs Task Force on Good Governance and Anti-corruption for the implementation of the Customs Code of Conduct and Rules of Ethics, which will study the streamlining of the BOC structure and monitor the BOC's corporate plans and activities.
Dismissed First Assistant Chief Prosecutor Oscar Corpus of San
Fernando, La Union from service for gross neglect of duty and/or
inefficiency and incompetence in the performance of official duties
for tagging as accessory, instead of principal, the kidnappers of
Filed eight cases against five judges involved in corrupt activities.
One of them is Judge Arnulfo Cabredo who was already dismissed from
the service with forfeiture of all benefits and with prejudice to
re-employment for grave misconduct;
The Sandiganbayan ruling that the 95,304 or 72.2% shares of Danding Cojuangco Jr. in the
Coconut Planter's Bank belong to the State
The Supreme Court ruling that the $682 Million or P36 Billion Marcos wealth was
Anti-Money Laundering Act
Enacted law aimed at enhancing the Philippines system of detecting "dirty money", and munimizing corruption in the Philippine banking system. Violations on the Anti-Money Laundering Act committed by former high-ranking officials of the Land Bank of the Philippines were exposed.
Governance Advisory Council
Establishing close ties with civil society in the shared interest of countering corruption is enhancing the cooperation between the government and the citizens. The privately funded Governance Advisory Council serves as a watchdog against corrupt practises, encouraging initiatives towards a more transparent and accountable governance system through out the country.
Government Procurement Reform Act
Otherwise known as Republic Act 9184, this law's implementation is aimed at making the government procurement process more transparent and predictable, minimizing opportunities for graft practises. The e-Procurement System is now being used to enhance the transparency in the procurement of government supplies. Bidding online will be fully operational by February 2004.
The recent attempts by young military officers to destablize the government has prompted the creation of two task forces to look into the problems and undertake reform initiatives within the Department of National Defense and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). The first task force will be in charge of analyzing the procurement process and funds management of the AFP. A management audit has to be done after a period of one month. The second task force will install an anti-corruption unit at the Department, which will be assigned to hear and investigate complaints on corruption and conduct lifestyle checks on the officers of the military.
The Arroyo Administration is quick to respond and has always been adamant in putting an end to the prevalence of graft and corruption that has been crippling the entire Philippine bureaucracy. Preserving its integrity demands the cooperation of all citizens, however difficult the challenge may seem. The Filipino people has been deprived long enough of honesty that is deserved.