Groups say 'holistic, coordinated' tack needed to rid PH corruption

‘Holistic, coordinated’ tack needed to rid PH corruption – groups

/ 11:02 AM December 12, 2023

Groups say 'holistic, coordinated' tack needed to rid PH corruption


MANILA, Philippines — Addressing corruption would need a “whole-of-Philippine-society” approach, government officials and leaders from the private sector advised.

During a conference on corruption issues, government agencies, business organizations, and civil society organizations shared their two cents on how various sectors of society could combat the “persistent” problem of the country.


They collectively agreed that a united effort among various sectors is crucial in addressing corruption.


“To effectively combat this issue, a holistic and coordinated effort is required. There needs to be a multi-pronged approach that addresses both prevention and enforcement,” Stratbase ADR Institute president Dindo Manhit said Monday.

READ: A look at how corruption works in the Philippines

For the organization Integrity Initiative, the most important policies lie within the private sector.

“We believe that the solution to corruption should be with the private sector and other partners because there will be no bribe-taker if there is no bribe-giver,” said Integrity Initiative chair Atty. Alexander Cabrera.

Meanwhile, Makati Business Club director Francisco Alcuaz called for an improvement of key government policies: Freedom of Information (FOI) Act,  Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN) law, Anti-Money Laundering Act, and Bank Secrecy Act.

“If you strengthen the SALN and loosen the bank secrecy law, you will help prosecutors and even ARTA [Anti Red Tape Authority]  to prosecute officials and businesses who corrupt the system. This will level the playing field and attract businesses who play by the rules. Rather than corruption, the money will be flowing to more infrastructure that lasts longer. Not infra where they cut corners or they scrimp on the materials and they deteriorate in a few years,” Alcuaz explained.


READ: Fight corruption, help MSMEs

For its part, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said it is taking action to improve transparency and accountability in the government.

This involves the National Action Plan of the Philippine Open Government Partnership (PH-OGP), which encourages cooperative engagement between governments and civil society to craft, implement, and monitor commitments, DBM noted.

Commitments refer to pledges for reform co-created by governments and civil society.

“OGP is characterized by participatory consultations, strong multi-sectoral partnerships, and open and constructive exchange of thoughts which has led to implementing commitments that have positively affected bureaucratic efficiency, economic resiliency, and greater citizen participation in the country,” Budget Undersecretary Wilford Wong explained.

The forum, organized by the Stratbase ADR Institute and Democracy Watch Philippines, also included representatives from academic institutions who emphasized that their collaboration with local officials could contribute to achieving higher performance standards in local government units.

The Philippines ranked 83rd among 142 countries in the World Rule of Law Index 2023 in terms of absence of corruption in the government with a score of 0.43 – three places lower from its rank in 2022.

The report also showed that the country’s score is consistently dipping from 0.49 in 2015 to 0.44 in the previous year.

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Meanwhile, the Corruption Perceptions Index ranked the country 116th among 180 countries, putting it on the top one-third of the most corrupt countries in the world.

TAGS: corruption, Philippines

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