MANILA (Mabuhay) – A lawmaker from Sorsogon has proposed a bill to strengthen existing anti-corruption laws in the country.
Sorsogon 1st District Representative Evelina Escudero recommended in House Bill 4783, or the “Enhanced Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Servants”, a more detailed filing review and compliance procedure of the Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN), and Disclosure of Financial and Business Interests to ensure more transparency in the government.
“In all the existing anti-corruption laws in the country, it is RA 6713 (Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards) that is all encompassing in making it clear that corruption is not acceptable in society by providing ethical standards by which every public official and employee must comply, and by providing a system of rewards that would motivate public officials and employees to do well in the performance of their functions,” Escudero said in a statement.
She said RA 6713 needs updating to adapt to current situations in public administration, and to keep abreast with international agreements the country has entered into, one of which is the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC).
“The proposed amendments to RA 6713 specifically address the gap on the coverage of the law by broadening the definition of the term ‘public official’ and ensuring more transparency in the government,” Escudero said.
The bill, now pending at the Committee on Civil Service and Professional Regulation, provides that all public servants, except those who serve in an honorary capacity, shall file under oath, their SALNs and those of their spouses and children or partners, regardless of their legal status.
It defines public servant as “any person holding or performing a public function in the legislative, executive, administrative or judicial office in the government, regardless of status of employment or engagement, and whether or not they receive compensation, except foreign nationals designated as honorary consuls.”
The bill empowers the Ombudsman, Civil Service Commission (CSC) and Commission on Audit (COA) to obtain, at any time, all documents as may show the declarant’s assets, liabilities, net worth, and business interests and financial connections, commencing from the time the declarant was employed or engaged by the government, and from all agencies, banks and financial institutions whether private or public.
Services rendered by those under contract of service or job order, however, shall not be considered government services. (MNS)