Bill seeks to eliminate bogus NGOs

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014


A PROPOSED measure was recently filed in the House of Representative seeking to prevent fly-by-night non-government organization (NGOs) by creating a regulatory body that will manage the current system.

Cagayan de Oro Representative Rufus Rodriguez said House Bill 3938 will create a National Committee on Non-Governmental Organization (NCNO), which will regulate all the existing and new NGOs.

Rodriguez said the measure is also a way to "give recognition of the role and contributions of the NGO sector as a partner in Philippine development and encourage a more effective NGO participation in the nation's governance processes."

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"We don't want NGOs, as what appears to be happening now, to be convenient conduits for corruption and plunder of the people's resources," Rodriguez said.

Businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles led a lavish life after she allegedly formed fake NGOs to funnel billions of pesos in pork barrel funds share of legislators and Malampaya funds over a 10-year period.

Under Rodriguez's bill, the proposed regulatory commission shall have five full-time members from nominees of various NGOs.

The bill stated that the full-time Chairman of the proposed commission "shall hold office for a term of four years, the two Commissioners for three years and another two Commissioners for two years. The Chairman and the Commissioners shall have the rank of a Department Secretary and Undersecretary, respectively."

It was also indicated in the measure that nominees for those mentioned position "must not have been candidates for elective positions in the immediately preceding election prior to appointment."

Rodriguez noted that NGOs play significant roles in the national development process because of their accessibility and accountability to grassroots groups. They represent the organized and voluntary effort of the people to assist the less fortunate sectors of society by direct delivery of basic services.

"This bill also seeks to promote professionalism, accountability and transparency among NGOs and prevent the fly-by-night NGOs or other organizations established solely for the benefit and self-interest of individuals or groups under the guise of social development," Rodriguez said.

The lawmaker added that the bill also seeks to create a body that will exclusively regulate all NGOs in the country and provide a system for greater collaboration and complementation between them and the government.

"The rapid increase in the number of NGOs has prompted the need for government to regulate these organizations and ensure that the resources they received are actually used for the goals and objectives of their organizations," the legislator from Cagayan de Oro said.

The amount of P50-million sourced out of funds in the National Treasury is proposed to fund the initial operations of the Commission and, thereafter, the necessary appropriations shall be included in the national budget. (Sunnex)

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