Senator Christopher “Bong” Go today reiterated the need to provide the public more information regarding government procurement and achieve greater transparency in the bidding process of government projects and programs.
Go, chairman of the Senate health and demography committee, reminded government agencies to ensure strict compliance with transparency, accountability and good governance policies and measures in the procurement process.
He emphasized that all government agencies must be transparent with all procurement information, names of bidders and their addresses, bidding results, and other relevant information, on top of the usual postings on the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPS) and agency websites.
“Dapat alam ng taumbayan kung saan napupunta ang kanilang pera. Bahagi din ito ng zero-tolerance policy natin kontra katiwalian sa gobyerno,” Go said. (People should know where their taxes go. This is part of our zero tolerance against corruption in government.)
Go remarked that such transparency would help in minimizing, if not eliminating, corruption in government procurement processes, especially amid the economic impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
He also urged the public to help the Duterte Administration stamp out corruption in the government. He recalled that while serving as then the Special Assistant to the President, he, together with the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC), established the Truth and Justice Coalition. It was created to provide an avenue for the private sector to join in the campaign against graft and corruption.
Go mentioned that a whole-of-nation approach against corruption will help authorities in conducting fact-finding inquiries, lifestyle checks, and other investigative processes.
Go cited the current corruption allegations and anomalies in state insurer Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) as an example for how systemic corruption does a disservice to the country and the Filipino people.
He emphasized that greater transparency in the government is an effective tool to once and for all remove corruption in the government since most of the issues pertain to procurement of equipment and services that are now subject of ongoing investigations.
“Exasperated na po si Pangulong Duterte dahil sa korapsyon sa gobyerno. Para rin po itong pandemya na sumisira sa ating normal na pamumuhay,” he said. (President Duterte is exasperated by unchecked corruption in government. This is like the COVID-19 pandemic that destroys our lives.)
“Kaya nga sabi ko dapat putilin ang daliri ng mga corrupt para hindi na makagalaw pa, hindi na makasira pa sa serbisyo ng gobyerno o makahawa pa sa mga ibang kawani ng gobyerno na nais lang magsilbi sa kapwa Pilipino,” he added. (That is why fingers of thieves should be cut so that they would not be able to disrupt government services or infect other government workers who want to serve their fellowmen.)
One of Go’s priority bills is to revive death penalty as punishment for plunder and drug-related crimes. The bill entitled as “An Act reinstating the death penalty for certain heinous crimes involving dangerous drugs and plunder,” seeks to effectively promote peace and order in the country and support the campaign of the administration against illegal drugs, criminality and corruption.
The bill describes corruption as “an equally deplorable evil that has kept the least fortunate of our countrymen from enjoying the steady economic progress we have achieved over the last few years.”
It also stressed how the administration has displayed its strong stance against the public officials and officers caught in the said act by imposing dismissal, prosecution and incarceration.