Press Release
March 10, 2010

Villar vows to improve RP's 'corrupt' image

Nacionalista Party standard-bearer Manny Villar on Wednesday vowed to significantly improve the country's "tarnished image of corruption" in the international community during the first 100 days of his term if he is elected president.

"Eradicating corruption will be a priority in my administration if I get elected president. I will establish, during the first 100 days of my administration, that corruption has no place in government," Villar said.

The senator made the statement following reports that the Philippines ranked fourth among the most corrupt countries in Southeast Asia out of 16 surveyed by over 2,000 expatriate businessmen, according to the Political and Economic Risk Consultancy (PERC).

The senator said that improving the image of the country and actually eradicating corruption are two different things, but should be done side by side.

Villar said he would work for increased transparency in government dealings, especially in awarding big-ticket contracts and large procurement activities.

"I would push for televised public bidding. Everyone who is interested can come to inspect government contracts. We will tell investors, foreign or local, that no one from government will ask money from them," he said.

"This is why the first 100 days of the new administration is very critical. We have to show that we are serious in curbing corruption. I can and will do that."

Villar explained that corruption is a multi-faceted problem that has no single solution.

"As such, it would require a combination of government policies that would address each and every aspect of the problem. However, increased transparency is a good start," he said.

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