2009 (STAR) It is still possible for the Philippines to eradicate corruption, but winning the fight depends on the political will of all stakeholders, including the public, and the strict enforcement of effective strategies.

Anti-graft expert Tony Kwok, an adviser to President Arroyo, sent this message across at a recent seminar-workshop on corruption prevention of the Presidential Anti-Graft Commission (PAGC) held at the University of the Philippines-National College of Public Administration and Governance.

The PAGC workshop was aimed at identifying corruption vulnerabilities in various government agencies and generate from the participants specific measures to address them.

To orient the participants on the process, Kwok presented various case studies and asked them to provide the appropriate courses of action for each of the corruption vulnerabilities in order to achieve system integrity.

The workshop kicked off with PAGC chief Secretary Constancia de Guzman encouraging the participants to share the experiences of their agencies in fighting graft, reminding them that corruption vulnerabilities could be prevented and controlled through ethical leadership, individual integrity, monitoring and deterrence.

Marcela Malaluan, deputy executive director of the Bureau of Immigration, and Chief Superintendent Samson Tucay (retired) of the Philippine National Police-Program Management Office, presented the best practices and success stories in their respective agencies.

Corruption prevention is one of the four major strategies that constitute the Integrity Development Action Plan (IDAP), the government’s national anti-corruption framework. The other three are education, deterrence (investigation and prosecution), and strategic partnership (multisectoral involvement).



PGMA orders CICT to ensure permanent internet connection in all iHUB centers and secondary schools nationwide

MARIVELES, Bataan – President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo today directed the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) to ensure that all iHub centers including high schools nationwide will have permanent access to internet connection.

The Chief Executive issued the directive after she spearheaded the launching ceremonies of the Information Hub (iHub) for the second district of Bataan at the Mariveles National High School (Poblacion campus) here. The project is part of the government’s effort to attain a higher computer literacy rate among students in public schools.

In his welcome remarks, Bataan Governor Enrique Garcia thanked the President for the project which, he said, the previous administration failed to provide them.

“Umasa kayo Madam President na ang lahat ng mga proyektong ibinigay ninyo para sa probinsiya ng Bataan ay hindi mapapariwara (We will assure you Madam President that all projects you provided for the province will be taken care of),” Governor Garcia said.

Some 500 computer units, which include computer laptops with LCD monitor, wi-fi routers and printers were also distributed to the 14 high schools within the 2nd district of Bataan.

This district has 14 public high schools with a combined a student population of 23,966 and total teaching force of 769 teachers as of April 2009.

Initiated by Rep. Albert Garcia of the 2nd District of Bataan, the iHub project give high school students hands-on experience on the computer and the wonders of getting connected to the world via the Internet. TOP


PGMA underscores important role of MSMES as 'weapon' against extreme poverty

FLORIDABLANCA, Pampanga -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo underscored this afternoon the important role micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) play in alleviating poverty by providing Filipinos with alternative sources of income.

The Chief Executive, in her brief remarks, after the turnover ceremonies of micro-finance checks to beneficiaries of Barangay Cabangcalan here, said that MSMEs, bolstered with stable micro-finance institutions such as rural banks and lending companies, are "weapons" to combat extreme poverty.

To stress this point, the President interviewed two residents of said barangay whose lives have been changed for the better through their participation in the government's MSME program.

Fernando Ronquillo told the President that his loan of P12,000 through Floridablanca mayor Eduardo Guerrero's initial seed capital program enabled him to put up RM Chicharon and joined his cabalens in the highly profitable chicharon-making food business.

Ronquillo said that through that loan and his endless hours of hard work, he was able to send his children to school and earn a decent living via the P20,000 he gets as profit every month from his chicharon business.

Like Ronquillo, Bernabe Santos is also blessed with a windfall of profit through the local government's initial seed captial program.

His chicharon business too has flourished and through profits earned, Santos is now able to live his and his family's life the way he chooses -- with a small degree of luxury.

Impressed by their success stories, President Arroyo wished them more good luck even as she expressed hope that Ronquillo and Santos and all other MSM entrepreneurs will continue to reap the successes of their individual endeavors.

During her visit here, President Arroyo also distributed some P107,000 worth of checks to six entrepreneurs of said barangay as start up capital for various livelihood businesses such as food and slippers-making and sari sari stores. <http://www.news.ops.gov.ph>

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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