Press Release
September 7, 2011


OTTAWA, CANADA--The Executive Committee of the Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC) warmly received Senator Edgardo J. Angara's report that President Benigno Simeon Aquino III has expressed his full support for the country's hosting of the biennial conference in 2013.

"In a strong vote of confidence, GOPAC selected Manila as the host of its next conference," said Angara. "Clearly, the international community recognizes our government's genuine commitment to fight corruption and promote good governance."

Angara also apprised the Executive Committee, on which he serves as Vice Chair, of the preparations for the conference, which will be graced by 350 to 400 participants from 90 member countries.

The Manila Steering Committee, whose members include Senator Franklin M. Drilon, Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban, and Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Teresita Herbosa, has prepared 12 topics for workshop-seminars.

These topics are the Government Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCC) Governance Act; Anti-Money Laundering law versus Bank Secrecy law; Effect and power of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC); Political party campaign financing; Ethics and conduct of parliamentarians; Parliamentary immunity and oversight; Role of women parliamentarians; How access to information and media affects legislation; Role of good audit in the fight against corruption; Involvement of civil society in preventing corruption; Recruiting good people to work for government; and Inclusion of anti-corruption values in education.

Resource books will be produced based on these workshop-seminars, in addition to comparative surveys about legislation across GOPAC member countries and the "Manila Declaration" which will embody the resolutions formed during the conference.

"Corruption is one of the ten risks identified by the World Economic Forum (WEF) that pose serious threat to development," cited Senator Angara. "The GOPAC conference aims to bring parliamentarians together to exchange ideas and forge stronger international cooperation for good governance."

Transparency International said that more and more people perceive increasing corruption levels in their county. Its 2010 Corruption Perceptions Index shows that almost three-fourths of 178 countries scored less than 5 on a scale from 10 (very clean) to 0 (highly corrupt). The Philippines scored 2.4.

"Government leaders face daunting challenges of growing public suspicion and distrust. It is our responsibility to restore trust and confidence in our public institutions to preserve stability, stimulate economic development and protect democracy," said Angara.

The Charter President of the South East Asian Parliamentarians Against Corruption (SEAPAC) stressed that, "We in Southeast Asia are especially keen to demonstrate our untiring efforts to cleanse our government of corrupt practices, abuse and misconduct, notwithstanding unfavorable past record of successive governments."

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