Drilon wants more web portals for whistleblowers vs corruption

THE government should step up its anti-corruption efforts by setting up a web-based reporting system where people can report corruption cases in a secure manner, Senate President Franklin Drilon said on Thursday.

Drilon made the call following the move of Governance Commission for Government Owned and Controlled Corporations (GCG) to launch an online portal, from which people can report corrupt practices within state-owned enterprises.

Drilon said the government must emulate GCG, in order to enhance transparency and accountability in government offices.

Government Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCC) Governance Act of 2011, authored by Drilon, introduced reforms in the GOCC sector, which transformed state-run agencies from milking cows of corrupt officials into productive national assets.

The GCG's whistleblowing portal program requires all GOCCs under the regulatory jurisdiction of e GCG to have a link in their perspective websites to the launched GCG whistleblowing portal. An accompanying regulation also enjoins the said GOCCs to develop and implement their own whistleblowing systems.

“This kind of initiative can be a huge boost in our efforts to rid the government of corrupt officials and employees. We must work on compelling each agency to put up a whistleblowing online portal, in order to encourage our people to speak up and report corruption cases,” the Senate Leader said.

“By having concerned individuals who are not afraid to expose or disclose the wrongdoing, our fight against corruption will have a better chance of succeeding. Their disclosure will prompt the authorities to take action through investigation and prosecution, thus, saving resources and preventing damage to the organization,” he added.

Drilon said launching web portals for whistleblowers is relatively easy and practicable, and are economical in the end.

The disclosures, he said, would help authorities to help take actions against erring individuals, thus saving resources and preventing damage to the organization.

Drilon then urged the public to make use of the opportunity to provide information on act of corruption by government officials and employees that they have witnessed or know about.

“The success of these websites and other anti-corruption initiatives will depend on the support and willingness of our countrymen to make a stand against corrupt practices and report these to proper authorities,” Drilon said.

To encourage people to come forward and speak up, Drilon said it is important that the means by which people can report corruption incidents are secured and capable of protecting them.

“The main obstacle to blowing the whistle on corruption is the fear of retaliation. It is therefore important to ensure that our citizens are comfortable with the process and that the government has an adequate system that would protect them,” he said.

Drilon also vowed to push for the passage of the proposed measure that seeks to protect and ensure the welfare of whistleblowers by guaranteeing confidentiality of their identity, and penalize retaliatory acts against them.

“We must not only provide for a user-friendly procedure for people who want to blow the whistle on corruption, but we must also ensure that they are adequately protected once they choose to do so,” the Senate Leader said. (Sunnex)

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