Press Release
April 28, 2016

Drilon bats for more web portals for whistleblowers vs corruption

Senate President Franklin M. Drilon today urged government agencies to step up their anti-corruption efforts by following the lead of the Governance Commission for Government Owned and Controlled Corporations (GCG), which launched an online portal where people can report corrupt practices within state-owned enterprises.

The Senate leader, author of the landmark Government Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCC) Governance Act of 2011, was the guest speaker at the launching of the GCG's Whistleblowing Web Portal today/April 28.

Drilon's GOCC Governance Act of 2011, or RA 10149, introduced reforms in the GOCC sector, which transformed state-run agencies from milking cows of corrupt officials into productive national assets.

Drilon said that government offices must "emulate the GCG's example," emphasizing that setting up a web-based reporting system where people can report corruption incidents in a secure manner will enhance transparency and accountability in government offices.

Under GCG's whistleblowing portal program, all GOCCs under the regulatory jurisdiction of the GCG is required to have a link in their respective websites to the launched GCG whistleblowing portal. An accompanying regulation also enjoins the said GOCCs to develop and implement their own whistleblowing systems.

"This kind of initiative can be a huge boost in our efforts to rid the government of corrupt officials and employees. We must work on compelling each agency to put up a whistleblowing online portal in order to encourage our people to speak up and repot corruption cases," Drilon said.

"By having concerned individuals who are not afraid to expose or disclose the wrongdoing, our fight against corruption will have a better chance of succeeding," said Drilon, a lawyer and former justice secretary.

"Their disclosure will prompt the authorities to take action through investigation and prosecution, thus, saving resources and preventing damage to the organization," Drilon stressed.

In order to encourage people to come forward and speak up, Drilon said that it is important that the means by which people can report corruption incidents are secured and capable of protecting them.

"The main obstacle to blowing the whistle on corruption is the fear of retaliation. It is therefore important to ensure that our citizens are comfortable with the process and that the government has an adequate system that would protect them," Drilon underscored.

The four-time Senate President then vowed to push for the passage of the proposed measure that seeks to protect and ensure the welfare of whistleblowers, by guaranteeing confidentiality of the whistleblower's identity and penalize retaliatory acts against whistleblowers.

"We must not only provide for a 'user-friendly' procedure for people who want to blow the whistle on corruption, but we must also ensure that they are adequately protected once they choose to do so," he added. Drilon also said that setting up web portals for whistleblowers is relatively easy and practicable, and are economical in the long run: "After all, these disclosures will help authorities to help take action against erring individuals, thus saving resources and preventing damage to the organization."

He thus urged the public to make use of the opportunity to provide information on acts of corruption by government officials and employees that they have witnessed or know about.

"The success of these websites and other anti-corruption initiatives will depend on the support and willingness of our countrymen to make a stand against corrupt practices and report these to proper authorities," Drilon concluded.

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