THE Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) was named the most corrupt government agency in the country, according to a Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) official.
The Government-Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCCs) came in second, followed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Department of Finance (DOF), which tied at third place. The DOF is composed of the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Bureau of Customs.
Four agencies were tied at fourth place--the Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Transportation, Department of Agriculture and the National Commission on Indigenous People.
PACC chairman Dante Jimenez released the list to journalists after his meeting with regional directors of government agencies in Central Visayas on Monday, March 25.
Jimenez, who was accompanied by PACC Commissioner Manuelito Luna, said he wanted to warn officials and employees of government agencies against getting involved in any kind of corruption. He said the PACC, which was created last year, was mandated by President Rodrigo Duterte to stop government corruption.
He said they would never tolerate corruption.
“Yung incompetence is yung (Incompetence is also a form of) corruption. Kapag kayo ay (If you are) incompetent sa trabaho ninyo puwede kayo matanggal, ma-suspend (at work, you can be suspended or dismissed),” Jimenez said.
Jimenez said the list was based on the complaints received by the PACC from March 7, 2018 to February this year.
PACC received 807 complaints during this period, 760 of which were verifiable.
Jimenez said 29 complaints had been endorsed to the Office of the Ombudsman, while 28 others had been approved by the commission’s en banc.
The senders of eight complaints were given a notice of deficiency, meaning their complaints lacked evidence.
Jimenez said the Duterte administration was bent on stopping corruption and he urged the public to send their grievances to the PACC.
The complaints, he said, may be filed before the offices of the regional directors in Central Visayas. If there is no action, the complainants may go to the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas.
“That’s why I’m telling you, let’s help each other. We’re all countrymen. It’s not true what they’re saying that there hasn’t been any change. There have been changes. But nothing will happen if the public doesn’t complaint. You need to report corruption. If you’re afraid for your safety, we have witness protection,” Jimenez said in Tagalog.
The official did not say how many complaints were lodged against the DPWH.
He said the agency’s corruption often happened during the implementation of road projects. District engineers (DE) reportedly connived with politicians, including the representatives of the Lower House.
“I won’t name any names. But many of the politicians involved belong to Congress. The corruption is rampant with the tara system and the sharing. It’s the same thing at the Customs. Corruption had become institutional,” he said in Tagalog.
Luna, for his part, said they only received a few complaints against DPWH 7, but he advised its officials to stay honest.
“We cannot discount the possibility that in the coming days that there will be complaints. But, so far so good, because we have been monitoring major DPWH projects here in Cebu. In fairness to DPWH Secretary Mark Villar, he and his team are doing good in reforming the agency,” he said in Tagalog. (From FMD of SuperBalita Cebu, KAL)