Aquino: True public service 'a key in fighting corruption'-A A +A
Thursday, January 31, 2013
MANILA -- Putting the people in front and center of any government agenda and be truthful in serving the public are the keys in fighting corruption, President Benigno Aquino III said Thursday.
In his speech during the 5th Global Conference of the Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (Gopac) in Pasay City, Aquino said eliminating corruption could not be done by punishing few corrupt people but through continuing "structural reforms" accompanied by "good and honest governance."
"As people in government, we know that corruption cannot be eliminated by sending a few erring officials to jail, or by exposing a single faulty contract, or by removing from office a single oppressive tyrant," he said.
He cited the cases of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who was charged with plunder, and former Chief Justice Renato Corona, who was impeached and stripped of his position for not truthfully disclosing his assets.
The President said that while the cases of Arroyo and Corona "have undeniable impact in our cultural milieu," "without structural reform, another corrupt President might one day take the reins of power; another Chief Justice might one day again betray the public trust."
"The problem of corruption must thus be approached strategically, always with the long-term in mind. Reforms cannot be mere blips in the radar—they must usher in an enduring mainstream of good, honest governance. Only through legislation can the bedrock of inclusiveness and positive, meaningful change be set," he said.
"While policy formulation can at times be a complex matter, the overarching idea behind our efforts is simple: To put the people front and center in any agenda, and to go back to the basics of public service; in short, to do the right thing," Aquino said.
He then enumerated the achievements of his administration particularly the works of the Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Justice, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the Technical Educational and Skills Development Authority.
He also lauded the efforts of the Department of Budget and Management, which he said "has been taking extra care of taxpayers' money." He cited DBM's zero-based budgeting system.
In terms of transparency, he said the administration has also been conducting groundbreaking work as he directed the Budget department of the disclosure of budget information on the websites of all national departments and agencies.
He added that the Interior and Local Government department has also adopted a full disclosure policy, requiring all local government units to disclose their financial activities.
"The Department of Budget and Management and the Department of Finance have likewise launched websites called 'Budget ng Bayan' and 'Pera Ng Bayan,' respectively," he further said.
"These translate to 'The People's Budget' and 'The People's Money.' These websites allow our citizens to access information about how the government is spending their money and to report corrupt officials from the DOF and its attached agencies," he said.
Aquino believed that corruption will soon be eliminated when all agencies form a "cohesive force against corruption."
"It is now up to us to reach out to the most cynical of our people and show them that here is a group of people working past geographical boundaries, convinced that, if each and every one of us works towards a better world, then it is possible to push human civilization into its next great chapter—an era of honesty, transparency, inclusiveness, and genuine people empowerment," he said. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)