[NEWS] Can public officials avoid graft and corruption?
DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/27 June) – Yes, they can and Davao City’s 180 Barangay captains and around 40 mayors from Region 12 (Southwestern Mindanao) will find out how when they attend separate gatherings on public accountability and good governance this week.
Teresita Angeles, chief of the Graft Prevention Unit of the Office of the Ombudsman in Mindanao said this is part of their ongoing preventive information drive to stop graft and corruption.
Davao City’s barangay captains will attend the seminar workshop on Integrity development and public accountability on June 28 at the Grand Men Seng Hotel in Davao City.
The workshop will cover discussions on the Office of the Ombudsman, experiencing corruption, public accountability, statutory perspectives and moral values and ethics, according to a statement from the Office of the Ombudsman in Quezon City.
On June 29, at the Grand Regal Hotel here, some 40 municipal and city mayors from North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur will attend the 1st Conference on Integrity and Governance for municipal mayors.
The conference, according to the statement, “aims to enhance the local officials’ familiarity on possible malpractices and common violations of public ethics and anti-graft laws”.
Angeles said the conference includes a presentation on the Best
Practices on Good Governance by the STARCM or the Support to Agrarian Reform Communities in Central Mindanao, which is one of the conference sponsors.
Fr. Albert Alejo, executive director of Mindanawon Initiatives for Cultural Dialogue, will facilitate the reflections on integrity and good governance.
Atty. Gay Maggie Violan will present “Common Violations of Anti-graft
laws –The Mindanao Experience” and Atty. Joy Arao will discuss “Lifestyle Check and the Plunder Law”.
Ombudsman Ma. Merceditas N. Gutierrez will keynote both gatherings.
Since 1996, Angeles said, the Office of the Ombudsman had been
conducting preventive measures like information dissemination, sharing of lessons learned from graft cases, warnings on penalties and advocacies to help curb graft and corruption in the country.
“There were a lot of violations filed against local officials that stemmed from their lack of information,” she said citing the need to educate government officials and employees in all levels about public accountability and good governance.
She clarified that the workshop with the mayors is the culminating portion of at least 15 batches of seminars with employees and officials in the local governments where the 40 mayors come from.
OMB Mindanao’s anti-corruption seminars used the Ehem! Aha! manual on good governance published by the Philippine Province of the Society of Jesus, according to a press statement.
The Office of the Ombudsman in Mindanao, she said, saw the increasing number of cases on graft and corruption as an indicator of increased public awareness on public accountability and good governance. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)