A Statement by the Civil Society Advisory Committee On the Occasion of International Anti-­Corruption Day

Corruption is a hindrance to the people’s right to development. It diverts valuable public resources away from many front line services such as education, infrastructure, and health, delaying the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, and as a result impacts adversely on the human rights of the poor and marginalized most profoundly. Corruption has both eroded and deprived people particularly of their economic, social and cultural rights as well as their right to development. Though certainly not a unique problem to the Philippines, corruption has persisted at high levels for years. This has to change.

As the world celebrates International Anti-­Corruption Day 2011 today, the Philippines has much to be hopeful about. Winning on a platform of anti-­?corruption and poverty reduction, the administration of President Benigno Aquino III has ushered in a fresh wind of optimism in the fight against corruption. His good governance efforts are being led by known good governance advocates in the Department of Budget and Management, Department of Interior and Local Governments, Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Justice, and Department of Agriculture among others. His commitment to remove an obstructionist leader at the office of the Ombudsman has resulted in the appointment of a former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court with a reputation of independence and integrity. President Aquino’s appointments to the Supreme Court have likewise been well received by judicial reform advocates.

From the starting gun of his “no wang-­wang” policy in his inaugural address, President Aquino has set the tone about public service. He has shown a determination and commitment to hold public officials accountable. In this area, we support his efforts to put closure to the unanswered controversies of the past by pursuing cases of corruption or criminality, at all levels of government, but most especially at the highest level. We expect that he will hold his own people to the same high standard of accountability with the same vigor and commitment.

The collective drive towards rights-­based good governance and anti-­corruption can be best supported by securing the people’s constitutionally guaranteed right to information, as contained in Article 3, Section 7 of the Philippine Constitution, through proper legislation – The Freedom of Information Act. Without clear, unequivocal and urgent support for the passage of the Freedom of Information Act, President Aquino undermines his own efforts at institutionalizing good governance. We look to the president to immediately declare the Freedom of Information bill as a priority legislative measure, and to call on his legislative allies to enact the bill within the 15th Congress. There are no credible excuses why this cannot be done. As a member of the Steering Committee of the US-­led Open Government Partnership, the Philippines now embarrassingly stands out as the only country in the committee that does not have Freedom of Information legislation in place.

More importantly, we call on all citizens to adopt a zero-­tolerance attitude towards corruption -­ in interacting with government and in the people we vote to represent us. Fighting corruption is not only the government’s responsibility. It is all of ours.

Today, on International Anti-­Corruption Day 2011, we reaffirm our commitment to the fight against corruption.

Civil Society Advisory Committee Members:

1. Action for Economic Reforms
2. Agri-­? Aqua Development Coalition (AADC)-­? Mindanao
3. Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL)
4. Association of Founfations (AF)
5. Association of Schools of Public Administration in the Philippines (ASPAP)
6. Consortium for the Advancement of People’s participation in Sustainable
Integrated Area Development (CAPP-­?SIAD)
7. CEDAW Watch
8. Center for Community Transformation
9. Civil Society Counterpart Council for Sustainable Development (CSCCSD)
10. Civil Society Network for Education Reforms (E-­?Net Phil)
11. Civil Society Resource Institute (CSRI)
12. Coalition for Bicol Development (CBD)
13. Caucus for Development NGO Networks (CODE-­?NGO)
14. Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society Organizations (CBCS)
15. Consuelo Zobel Alger Foundation
16. Cordillera Network of NGOs and Pos (CORDNet)
17. Cullion Foundation, Inc.
18. Eastern Visayas Network of Development NGOs (EVNET)
19. Framework Convention Tobacco Control Alliance, Philippines (FCAP)
20. Fair Trade Alliance
21. Family Planning Organization of the Philiippines (FPOP)
22. Federation of Free Workers (FFW)
23. Foundation for Sustainable Societies, Inc. (FSSI)
24. Foundation for the Philippine Environment (FPE)
25. Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC)
26. Gaston Z. Ortigas Peace Institute (GZO-­?PI)
27. Generation Peace Network (Gen Peace)
28. Green Convergence
29. Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP)
30. Haribon
31. Health Action Information Network (HAIN)
32. Health Development Network (HDN)
33.International Center for Innovation, Transformation and Excellence in
Governance (INCITEGov)
34. Institute for Political and Electoral Reform (IPER)
35. Institute for Popular Democracy (IPD)
36. Koalisyon ng Katutubong Samahan ng Pilipinas (KASAPI)
37. League of Corporate Foundations (LCF)
38. Medical Action Group (MAG)
39. Mindanao Coalition of Development NGO Networks (MinCODE)
40.Miriam-­? PEACE (Public Education and Awareness Campaign for the
41. NAPC-­? Basic Sectors
42. National Confederation of Cooperatives (NATCC)
43. National Council for Social Development (NCSD)
44. NGOs for Fisheries Reform (NFR)
45. Network Opposed to Genetically Modified Organisms (NO2GMOs)
46. Pambansang Kilusan ng mga Samahang Magsasaka (PAKISAMA)
47. Pamabansang Koalisyon ng mga Kababaihan sa Kanayunan (PKKK)
48. Partnership for Clean Air (PCA)
49. Partnership of Philippine Support Service Agencies (PHILSSA)
50.Pambansang Katipunan Ng Mga Manggagawang Impormal sa Pilipinas
51. Peace and Equity Foundation (PEF)
52. Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA)
53. Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP)
54. Philippine Children’s Ministries Network, Inc. (PCMN)
55. Philippine Legislators Committee for Population and Development (PLCPD)
56. Philippine Network for Rural Development Institutes (PhilNet-­?RDI), Inc.
57. Philippine NGO Council on Population. Health and Welfare (PNGOC)
58. Philippine NGO Support Program, Inc. (PHANSuP)
59. Philippine Partnership for the Development of Human Resources in Rural
60. Philippie Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM)
62. Social Watch Philippines
63. Sulong CARIHI
64. Sustainability Watch
65. Task Force Participatory Local Governance (TF-­?PLG)
66. Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP)
67. Transparency and Accountability Network (TAN)
68. Urban Poor Alliance
69. Visayan Forum Foundation
70. Western Visayas Network of Social Development of NGOs (WEVNet)
71. Women’s Action Network for Development (WAND)
72. Young Public Servants (YPS)