Gov’t to intensify anti-corruption drive
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang has vowed to step up its anti-corruption drive despite failing to secure a large-scale grant from the United States Millennium Challenge Corp. (MCC), which has been hinged on how effective a government was in fighting corruption.
The MCC said the Philippines remained eligible for a grant or “compact,” but said that it would need to pass certain criteria first, according to reports.
“The government vows to further intensify its campaign against corruption. We need to show [this to] the international community, but most of all, [to] our people,” Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Lorelei Fajardo said in a statement.
Fajardo said that, among others, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo doubled the budget of the Ombudsman as early as 2007, signed into law Republic Act 9485 of the Anti-Red Tape Act, and pressed Congress to pass a comprehensive anti-corruption law.
“For our efforts to succeed, we need the support and vigilance of everyone,” she said.
A newspaper report said the Philippines failed to score above the median in 14 out of 17 anti-corruption “indicators” set by the MCC.
Arroyo’s administration has been besieged with allegations of massive corruption, the most recent of which was the bribery scandal surrounding the $329-million contract between the government and China’s ZTE Corp. for the botched national broadband network (NBN) project.
The controversy spawned another failed impeachment attempt and wave of street protests calling on the President to step down.
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