Bill seeks mandatory signing of bank waiver for all gov’t officials

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014


SENATOR Francis Chiz Escudero, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, filed Senate Bill 16, which seeks the mandatory signing of bank waivers to make public the financial records of all government officials and those seeking public office.

Escudero filed the bill in support of calls by his colleagues in the Senate for a lifestyle check after some senators have been implicated in the multibillion pork barrel controversy.

A lifestyle check will become mandatory for all government officials once Escudero's Submission of Waiver of Bank Deposits bill is enacted into law.

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"I have been espousing for transparency in government to curb graft and corruption. I filed this bill on waiver on bank secrecy in 2010 and continuously pursues this advocacy in the Senate," said Escudero, who had signed a similar waiver when he filed his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) last year.

If enacted into law, Senate Bill 16 will enable the government to audit the finances of all civil servants, including the President, he said.

In Escudero's proposal, all public officials and employees, except those who serve in an honorary capacity, shall submit with the anti-graft body a written waiver in favor of the Office of the Ombudsman to look into "all deposits of whatever nature with banks or banking institutions, both within and outside the Philippines, including investment bonds issued by the government of the Philippines."

"This lifestyle check will benefit those who have issued the challenge in the first place," Escudero said. "Those who have nothing to hide should have nothing to fear." (Camille P. Balagtas/Sunnex)

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