ARMM launches anti-corruption drive
COTABATO CITY, Philippines—The government of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao has announced an anti-corruption campaign that will make use of e-mail and mobile phones in the wake of official audit reports uncovering misuse of public funds by former officials.
The Commission on Audit said it had unearthed “the anomalous disbursement of public funds” from 2008 to 2009 by the administration of former ARMM Governor Zaldy Ampatuan.
In its 125-page report released on March 17, COA said “total disregard of applicable laws, rules and regulations are evident” in many transactions emanating from the Office of the Regional Governor.
Ampatuan is currently in jail in connection with the 2009 Maguindanao massacre.
Among the glaring COA findings were “purchases without public bidding” amounting to a total of P651 million and “cash advances” of P866 million.
Acting ARMM Governor Ansaruddin Adiong said they were serious in rebuilding the regional government’s image, which has been tarnished by issues of fund misuse.
He told reporters here that a World Bank-backed anti-corruption mechanism, dubbed the Grievance Redress System or (GRS), was being fine-tuned for implementation.
Utilizing electronically generated quick response system for feedback against shadowy fund handling, he said, the GRS was the answer to allegations of corruption against regional officials.
“Nobody wants that public funds go to waste or to other hands for unwanted purpose,” he told reporters here Thursday.
Adiong said he had ordered all regional agencies to make public their budget and expenditures.
Nasser Sinarimbo, head of the ARMM social fund office, said while the GRS was still being fine-tuned, complaints and feedback about government fund use in the region may be sent to his e-mail address, [email protected]
But he said once fully operational, the GRS could also receive complaints via mobile phones.
“Minor complaints or grievances sent to the GRS can be immediately acted upon by my office but the major ones will be decided on by the ASFP board of directors chaired by Governor Adiong,” Sinarimbo said.
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