MANILAHeeding President Rodrigo Duterte's marching order to eliminate corruption in the government, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) brings the war against corruption to local government units (LGUs) with the launch of the Bantay Korapsyon program.
In a news release issued Tuesday, DILG officer-in-charge Secretary Eduardo M. AAo said Bantay Korapsyon is a flagship program of the department that encourages the involvement and participation of various stakeholders in the fight against corruption down to the grassroots level.
"Walang korapsyon na dapat nangyayari sa national man o sa local level (There should not be corruption at the national or even the local level). Government positions are not trophies, but are sacred symbols of trust and responsibility accorded to them by the people, laden with high expectations of accountability," AAo said in his message during the program's launch in Quezon City.
He said public service is a public trust, hence, local officials who have sworn to serve the interests of the public but are instead enriching themselves in power should be held accountable and culpable for corruption.
AAo said Bantay Korapsyon starts with the people's involvement in the fight against corruption, by airing their complaints through Hotline 8888, the Presidential Complaint Center and even walk-in complaints.
"The community plays a vital role in this program. What we need are information from our citizens to pin down erring local officials," he said.
He said if the complaints or allegations are firm in substance and form, appropriate charges will be filed but if not, the DILG will either gather information through fact-finding or call the attention of the local chief executives.
If the allegations have corroborative evidence or statements, as gathered through fact-finding, a case buildup will be developed which would, in turn, need the support of other government agencies, he added.
"We will bring the service to the people and to do this, we must get rid of corruption. Wala tayong pipiliin (No one will be spared), as demonstrated by the President himself by firing officials, even the ones closest to him," AAo said.
The program also introduces a three-pronged strategy to combat corruption through education by improving awareness regarding corruption; prevention by reducing opportunities to do corrupt acts; and determent by raising the probability of catching the corrupt and rewarding good practices, all achieved through partnerships and community mobilization, and community-specific, LGU-nuanced, and DILG-focused capacity development interventions.
AAo also said the department will go on to the specifics of a local official's corruption culpability, noting that "this time, we will make sure that the program will be implemented."
He warned local officials to refrain from their 'shennanigans' as more mechanisms and avenues are now being instituted to enable the general public to call the attention of the national government against abuses committed inside their fences.
"We will see to it that accountability is felt to the skin by our local officials," he said. (DILG PR)
Source: Philippine News Agency