The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has linked arms with the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) in the war against graft and corruption even as a fortune is being offered to anybody who can provide any information that may lead to the filing of charges against corrupt government officials and rank-and-file employees.
DAR Undersecretary for Policy, Planning and Research David Erro said the department is coordinating closely with the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) to uncover illicit activities of suspected corrupt DAR officials and employees.
“We need the PACC (Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission) to also correct the defects in the system of procurement and other transactions involving government funds,” Mr. Erro said during the press conference at the DAR central office in Quezon City.
Mr. Erro said the DAR seeks to avoid repeating the mistake of the past, referring to the controversial multi-million scams involving the Malampaya Fund and Priority Development Assistance Fund, which stained the good image of the department.
Earlier, President Duterte said that the government should get rid of corruption since it remains as a major stumbling block to the success of its many poverty alleviation programs.
PACC Commissioner Greco Belgica said anybody who could provide the government information that may lead to the filing of charges against erring government officials and employees would receive as much as 25 percent of the recovered ill-gotten wealth.
The idea behind the bounty offer is in line with the directives of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to cleanse the government of corrupt personnel who are undermining its pro-poor programs by sapping its resources through illicit activities, Mr. Belgica said.
“As much as possible, we want transparency in all government transactions,” Mr. Belgica stressed, adding that the Duterte administration abhors “red tape,” an official routine or procedure marked with excessive complexity, resulting to delay or inaction, during which illicit transactions usually take place.
DAR Assistant Secretary for Finance, Management and Administration Lucius “Junjun” Malsi said the Duterte administration wanted to do away with the habit of “justifying” a perceived wrongful act uncovered by the Commission on Audit, which often resulted to the disallowance of some monetary incentives.
Mr. Malsi clarified, however, that the DAR’s anti-corruption campaign covers not only offenses arising from illicit activities involving ill-gotten wealth but also disciplinary complaints covered under the Republic Act 6713, or the “Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.”
Mr. Malsi said some of the more or less 800 complaints pertain to abuse of authority, favoritism and undue patronage, which corrupt the moral fiber of the whole bureaucracy.
“Let’s put a stop to this nauseating practices,” Malsi said, adding that the current DAR administration is working double time to hasten the resolution of these complaints and cases.
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