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  • Ombudsman Calls for Building a “Corruption Intolerant Society”

Ombudsman Calls for Building a “Corruption Intolerant Society”

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales (center), awarded the 2016 Metrobank Foundation Professorial Chair for Public Service and Governance, after her lecture at the Ateneo Professorial Schools in Makati With her in the photo are (from left to right) Rodolfo P. Ang, Dean of the Ateneo Graduate School of Business; Atty. Jaime Hofileña, Vice President for Social Development of Ateneo de Manila University; Antonio La Viña, Dean of the Ateneo School of Government; Atty Arlene Lapuz-Ureta, Senior Vice President and General Counsel at Metrobank; Aniceto Sobrepeña, President of Metrobank Foundation; Dr. Antonette Palma Angeles, Vice President for the Ateneo Professional Schools; Atty. Ma. Tanya Karina Lat, Ateneo Law School Coordinator for Student Formation; Atty. Sedfrey Candelaria, Dean of the Ateneo Law School; and Dr. Manuel Dayrit, Dean of the Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health.

As chairholder of the 2016 Metrobank Foundation Professorial Chair for Public Service and Governance, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales delivered a lecture on “Building a Corruption Intolerant Society and Sustaining an Intergenerational National Anti-Corruption Agenda” on February 16, 2016 at the Ateneo Professional Schools Auditorium in Makati City.

Morales discussed the various initiatives being undertaken by the Office of the Ombudsman to strengthen its institutional capacity. A National Integrity Center has been set up as its education arm, helping develop the skills of its more than 1,200-strong workforce. Efforts have also been made to increase efficiency in its work such as rationalizing functions among its various bureaus, filtering the intake of complaints filed with the Office, and assessing processes of key government for vulnerability to corruption.

She noted that these efforts resulted in a total of 6,707 administrative and criminal cases resolved for 2015. The number of cases awaiting action by the court decreased by 16% despite a 2% increase in new cases filed. The Ombudsman is targeting to reduce its case backlog to zero before Morales’ term ends in 2018.

Recognizing that the most important stakeholder in the battle against corruption is the Filipino public, the Ombudsman made steps to mobilize broader support for its work. The National Anti-Corruption Framework was completed and adopted on December 15 last year during the 3rd State Conference on the United Nations Convention Against Corruption. Accreditation guidelines were also strengthened for civil society and student organization partners, and customized training modules developed.

“One does not need to be a member of the civil service or to hold an appointive or elective post in government to be a public servant,” Morales said. She added that one must “bear in mind the best interest of the public, and to put it above one’s own if conflict arises.”

Aniceto Sobrepeña, president of Metrobank Foundation, agreed with Morales and highlighted the role of the private sector as a partner in good governance. “You may ask, what is in it for the private sector if it champions governance that is effective, accountable, and upholds the rule of law? For many, the most obvious answer is that good governance creates a stable environment conducive to the pursuit of business goals. But let me add our take at the Metrobank Group – that it is simply our responsibility as citizens. We, who benefit from the freedoms afforded by a democratic society, must ensure that our countrymen enjoy similar prosperity and happiness,” he said.

A joint undertaking between Metrobank Foundation and Ateneo de Manila University, the professorial chair seeks to give due recognition to public servants who are exemplary models of leadership and professionalism. It aims to strengthen the pillars of our government by furthering research and educating the citizenry on public-interest issues.

Since its establishment in 2000, the title has been awarded to advocates of good governance including former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, Social Work and Development Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman, and Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita “Ging” Deles.

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