INTERIOR and Local Government Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III said on Sunday, April 7, that the fight against corruption needs people's participation, admitting that this initiative is a herculean task.
This is a process of changing the behavior of the people from having a culture of indifference and apathy towards governance.
He said that he once spoke before a crowd of 4,000 and asked who among them know the budget of their barangay. Only a few claimed to have known.
President Rodrigo R. Duterte wants the people to participate in governance because people in the government could hardly get rid of corruption.
“We are involving the people. It is their role, responsibility and their duty to watch the actions of their public officials especially on to how they handle the people's money. It takes some effort to change the culture of the people,” Densing said.
Densing brought his Bantay-Korapsyon team in Bacolod to hold an assembly at Bays Center on Saturday, April 6.
“Puksain ang mga korap (Get rid of corrupt people),” the team declared along with the Anti-Corruption Coalition of Organizations for Reform & Development and the Ram/Guardians or United Guardians Brotherhood Inc.
The organizations and their members signed a declaration of support to combat corruption by acknowledging their common vision to eliminate corruption in the country, recognizing the critical role of partnership among local authorities and civil society in building the foundation for excellence in governance, re-affirming their belief that as responsible citizens they play a vital role in ensuring that they always act in the best interest of the country.
They collectively expressed their unequivocal support to the nationwide implementation of the Bantay-Korapsyon program as a tool to eliminate corruption in the Philippines.
They pledged to take part, in their own capacity, in heeding the call of President Duterte to stop corruption; enhance the social fabric by ensuring a people-centered, clean, efficient and effective governance, and to strengthen existing partnerships towards creating a better future.
Moreover, Densing warned barangay officials and government employees not to actively participate in political campaigns as there are laws that prohibit their participation.
He also said that he already received about 300 complaints and they are acting on it.
He assured those who complained that the Department of the Interior and Local Government will seriously take action and look into what have been reported.