Fighting Corruption-A A +A
An Independent View
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
PNOY has addressed some of the spectacular examples alleging corruption that took place in the GMA era.
These examples may be categorized as 'personality' corruption from powerful individuals who did not see the need to properly deploy public money.
But from a quantitative point of view, systemic corruption, taking advantage of red tape and other corruption opportunities is more important.
PNoy's next step should be to declare war on the nation's systemic corruption which he rightly states contributes to poverty.
Constitutionally, the responsibility for reducing corruption lies with the Ombudsman.
Sec 13(7) Article XI of the 1987 Constitution states:
'Determine the causes of inefficiency, red tape, mismanagement, fraud and corruption within the Government and make recommendations for their elimination and the observance of high standards of ethics and efficiency.'
Implementing this constitutionally mandated role for the Ombudsman is a vital next step.
But when I look at the Ombudsman's interpretation of its mandate with associated Mission and Vision statements, I do not see emphasis on this crucial preventive role. Effectively addressing allegations of wrongdoing is important but shutting the stable door before the horse can bolt is also important.
What we need is for the Ombudsman to recruit Systems Analysts who shall examine all government systems with a view to simplifying, where appropriate, the cumbersome procedures that exist within and between all government departments. Great attention to detail is required of these analysts before the Ombudsman can make definitive instructions/recommendations to reduce the 'causes of inefficiency, red tape, mismanagement, fraud and corruption.'
It is no exaggeration, however, to note that if government systems are streamlined with the associated reduction of corruption opportunities, then PNoy's presidency will have a hallowed place in history. Otherwise, history will judge the 2010-2016 administration as well-meaning but largely ineffectual. So far, systemic corruption which, in quantitative terms is hugely serious is not yet being checked.
Greater exposure as to what is really happening to public money is a key requirement. For example, we worry about the Department of Education. In the past four years, its budget has doubled to a massive P292.7 billion for 2013. Yet there are still not enough facilities to provide a proper education. Where is the money going?
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on February 27, 2013.