The Iligan chapter conducted a pioneering Forum on Good Governance: Transparency and Accountability in Government on 26-27 June 2012 at Elena Tower Inn in Iligan City. The Forum gathered a total of 91 participants representing all departments and offices of the City Government, all Iligan barangays, and regional offices of national agencies, and speakers coming from government agencies that have mandates in ‘policing’ graft practices in government.
The two-day forum aimed for participants to increase level of awareness and understanding on anti-graft and corruption principles; craft a re-entry action plan infusing prevention or elimination of graft and corruption practices in their respective government agencies; and present action plans by agencies.
The four forum speakers were PA3i member Engr. Jane J. Docallos, DILG Iligan City director; Atty. Maria Iluminada Lapid-Viva, Director IV of the Office of Ombudsman (Mindanao); Mr. Donelo A. Sescon, Regional Director of the Commission on Audit; Ms. Alona B. Carumba, OIC of the Commission on Audit field office. Their talks focused on existing corruption practices, respective laws that apply, and ways to eliminate habits of corruption from their respective departments’ points of view.
PA3i National President Mr Arvin Yana presented how the activity formed part of a larger organizational vision, and its alignment with the AusAID thrusts in the country. He congratulated the chapter, led by chapter president Ms Virginia Junsan and national trustee Ms Anna Alagar, for what he calls a “very timely and relevant alumni contribution to the cause of responsible governance.”
As envisioned in the Chapter’s project implementation plan, the following were the visible outputs of the forum:
As speakers discussed common corruption practices, participants showed so much interest in how they can be avoided, and what specific laws cover those practices. It was very apparent how many participants seemed to have heard anti-corruption laws for the first time. As Mayor Lawrence Cruz had noted, although these laws – the Local Government Code, RA 9485 (Anti-Red Tape Act of 200), RA 6770 (The Ombudsman Act of. 1989), 2009 Revised Rules of Procedures of the Commission on Audit, PD No. 1445 Ordaining and instituting a government auditing code of the Philippines, and the Executive Order 292 instituting the Adminstrative Code of 1987 – had been existing, the rules on their implementation and application may change from time to time. This was the only forum where LGUs are given the opportunity to learn extensively about these anti-corruption laws and have the chance to ask concerned agencies about their application on different cases.
Grouped into City Government departments, barangay officials, elected city officials, and national line agencies, the re-entry action plans were presented on Day 2.
A system for monitoring the action plans will be the thrust of the succeeding chapter leadership.