“The citizen can bring our political and governmental institutions back to life, make them responsive and accountable, and keep them honest. No one else can.” John W. Gardner, US Secretary of Health and Education, 1965-68
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Prof. Boncodin, in one of the forums she had appeared in to help people understand the the national budget and what people could do to protect it from corruption and wastage.
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The Philippine Public Transparency Reporting Project and the Pera Natin ‘To! website are made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents of this website and the views expressed herein are solely the responsibility of the Philippine Public Transparency Reporting Project and the individual authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government or the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative.
Welcome to the Philippine Public Transparency Reporting Project
This project and website is built on the belief that corruption in public life will only ever be reduced when ordinary people are able to understand, monitor - and ultimately have a say on where and how public money is spent.
As the subtitle of this website says, it’s our money (pera natin 'to!). Every centavo lost to corruption is a centavo stolen from education, poverty reduction, social services and job creation. Ultimately, beating corruption will result in more inward investment, serious economic development and far fewer people leaving home in search of a better life overseas. READ MORE
Accessing Public Information on Graft Cases before the Regional Ombudsman Gets Tougher Everyday
Abner P. Francisco
Wednesday, 08 September 2010
Media and civil society organization workers in Kidapawan City were denied public information on the status of graft cases filed before the regional Ombudsman. They were told they were not the complainants. Photo courtesy of WATCH Kidapawan
Kidapawan City -- Can ordinary citizens trying to keep watch of corruption issues in their community be denied information on graft-related cases against local officials?
This was the question asked by members of the Watchful Advocates for Transparent Clean and Honest Governance in Kidapawan (WATCH-Kidapawan) after they came home almost “empty-handed” on September 1 from the Office of Ombudsman for Mindanao in Davao.
Saving for the rainy days: Government now has saved up PhP 1.75 billion to be used to address people's needs during calamities, something which had been sorely missing in the previous administration, local goverment officials and typhoon victims said. BUCK PAGO/AKP Images
The diversion of calamity funds into the pockets of public officials rather than helping the victims of natural disasters is surely one of the most heinous kinds of corruption anywhere and a record of how poorly a government cares or is able to look after its most vulnerable citizens.
In his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) last month, President Benigno Aquino III revealed that the PhP 2 billion (USD 44.4 million) calamity fund for 2010 had already been nearly all spent.
Reformist Mayor Tapped to Roll Accountability out to the Regions
Tuesday, 24 August 2010
Huge task: Reversing the poor public perception on DILG when in comes to fighting corruption is the first order of the day of Secretary Jesse Robredo. Photo courtesy of www.sugod.com
While he has been assiduous with all his senior appointments, President Benigno Aquino III was especially careful when it came to the person who would head up the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
It is after all the DILG which has to channel his transparency agenda from the national to the local level and down to the grassroots. Aquino essentially led the department himself for several weeks before designating former Naga City mayor Jesse Robredo as its chief.
The DILG has the Local Government Units (LGUs) as its main clientele. The LGUs are subdivided into 81 provinces, 136 cities, 1,495 municipalities and 42,008 barangays as of December 31, 2008.
Poor Economics, Corruption in Rice Procurement Continue to Waste People’s Money
Iris Cecilia C. Gonzales
Friday, 13 August 2010
Swimming in rice: Alleged hefty commissions in rice importation and poor insight have left thousands of metric tons of rice rotting in NFA warehouses, unfortunately at the expense of taxpayers' money. JES AZNAR
During his first State of the Nation Address last month, President Benigno Aquino III spent almost five minutes talking about the National Food Authority (NFA), the state-owned grains agency.
How, Aquino wondered, could the NFA have incurred billions in debts and in effect wasted taxpayers’ money?
Furthermore, Aquino asked why the NFA had to import so much rice or way beyond the country’s needs?
Punitive Duties and Thieves Make Post Office the Last Choice
Monday, 09 August 2010
Safe and fast still? People nowadays see post offices as the last resort to send goods and money to their loved ones, fearing these would all be lost or damaged to corruption. CLAIRE DELFIN
With millions of Filipinos having family members, relatives and friends abroad, horror stories also abound about incredulously high custom duties and taxes one pays when receiving a package from abroad shipped through post offices, whether private or public.
Calvin’s aunt sent him some thermal underwear from Taiwan for him to use on his trip to Beijing. When the package arrived, he had to cough out PhP 1,435 (USD 32) for customs duties and taxes for something that cost about PhP 2,300 (USD 51).
“Insane!” he exclaimed. “I don’t mind paying taxes but they should be reasonable. If the tax is going to be half or more than half of the total cost then it’s totally unreasonable. And where do they use the money?” Calvin sighed.
Ukay-ukay Vendor Takes on Local Government in Kidapawan Over Claims Of Corruption
Abner P. Francisco
Tuesday, 03 August 2010
A peso for the whistleblower: WATCH Kidapawan members raise bail bond money to support the ukay-ukay vendor who blew the whistle against alleged corruption at the Kidapawan city hall.
KIDAPAWAN CITY-- In his first State of the Nation Address, President Benigno Aquino III said he would push for the immediate passage of a bill protecting whistleblowers. If it happens, this could be the answer to the problems Lally Aniñon is facing for having exposed alleged malpractice among government employees in North Cotabato.
Aniñon is an ukay-ukay (used clothing) seller who alleged employees of the City Agriculture Office in Kidapawan were in the business of collecting illegal fees from roadside sellers like her. After her claims were broadcast on local radio here, City Mayor Rodolfo Gantuangco ordered the immediate turn-over of the collected amounts to the City Treasury.
SONA Spills Predecessor’s Alleged Excesses – But Short on Future Plans
Thursday, 29 July 2010
P-Noy's maiden SONA was simple rehash and lacked teeth, some plain folks and political analysts said alike. JES AZNAR
President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III spent a major part of his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) revealing and denouncing how the previous administration allegedly squandered and depleted the public coffers.
Aquino said just halfway through the year, only PhP 100 billion (USD 2.2 billion) or 6.5 percent of the PhP 1.54 trillion (USD 34 billion) budget for 2010 could be used for the remaining six months. And with government expenditures exceeding revenues that means the budget deficit further widened to PhP 196.7 billion (USD 4.4 billion). “Inilihim at sadyang iniligaw ang sambayanan sa totoong kalagayan ng ating bansa (The reality was hidden from our people, who seem to have been deliberately obfuscated on the real state of our nation),” Aquino said.
Unreformed Politics in Congress Threaten the Transparency Drive
Friday, 23 July 2010
Is the Philippine Congress on the side of the Filipino people for a corruption-free government? Photo courtesy of www.filipinoscribbles. wordpress.com
When the 15th Congress convenes on July 26, top of the agenda will be the election of the Senate President and the Speaker of the House. This is done in the morning in readiness for the State of the Nation Address (SONA) by President Benigno Simeon Aquino III.
But with only days to go, none of the myriad political parties is commanding a parliamentary majority to ascertain victory in this congressional election. Clearly, Aquino’s landslide presidential victory wasn’t enough to pull a major force for his Liberal Party (LP).
A Huge Challenge in Itself – But Will Tackling Corruption Be Enough To Beat Poverty?
Tuesday, 20 July 2010
News Analysis by Claire Delfin
P-Noy told: Walk the talk against corruption. Photo courtesy of www.news.xinhuanet.com
With his campaign slogan “Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap (When no one is corrupt, no one is poor),” Aquino vowed to lift Filipinos out of poverty by leading a graft-free government.
Millions of people are now poised waiting for the 15th President to deliver what he pledged during his campaign.
Just as with columnists in the mainstream media, bloggers are already poised over their keyboards ready to monitor and rate his performance: “He owes it to me and to the millions of voters out there the earnest fulfilment of his promises,” wrote Dine Racoma - one of countless citizens now using the Internet to follow the fortunes of the new administration.
Understanding Incomes and Expenditures of Local Government Units
Monday, 24 May 2010
Raising local incomes: Taxes and non-tax revenues such as fees and charges paid for government services are part of the incomes of any local government apart from its share in the national revenue resources. KEITH BACONGCO/AKP Images
The Local Government Code (LGC) of 1991 paved the way for greater local autonomy in an effort to bring government closer to the doorsteps of the people. As local governments take on greater roles in the provision of public services, they require greater resources and the means to generate these. At the same time, greater decentralization brings with it the need to strengthen mechanisms for transparency and accountability in local government budgeting and spending.
Checks and Balances: Audit and Accountability in Philippine Public Finances
Leslie Jamie Cobar
Tuesday, 11 May 2010
COA: the supreme audit institution. CESAR USAPDIN
The Philippine Constitution emphasizes the importance of accountability in the government. Article XI simply and bluntly begins: “Public office is a public trust,” before it adds that officials and employees should serve the people with “responsibility, integrity, loyalty and efficiency.”
In the government budget cycle, accountability is laid down by the need for government agencies and departments submit to submit quarterly and monthly income statements; statements of allotment, obligations and balances along with other financial reports and documents for audit - a formal process whereby the authenticity, accuracy and reliability of financial accounts or transactions are checked and approved.
While the first of our two end-of project surveys has just been posted, the results coming in already make for some very interesting reading. This survey largely centers on which direction you think the fight for greater transparency and accountability is headed in the Philippines and what you think is currently present, necessary or missing in thinking, plans and action. READ MORE
The People’s Budget – It’s Up To us to Really Make It So
Thursday, 24 February 2011
Senate Bill 2186 or the People's Participation in Budget Deliberations Act is a very welcome move in the fight against corruption and graft and the Philippine Public Transparency Reporting Project was lucky enough to see it first a few weeks ago and be tapped for our own opinions on it. READ MORE
Truth Telling as We Remember the Lessons from EDSA
Monday, 21 February 2011
Former state auditor Heidi Mendoza’s message to the public at the Valentine’s Day forum where she was key speaker was very timely given we are just days away from marking the 25th anniversary of the EDSA Revolution that toppled the Marcos dictatorship and ushered in democracy. READ MORE
The Public Watch
Saturday, 19 February 2011
It is encouraging to see the Senate Conference Room on February 18 filled with students, nuns, socialites, activists, CSO workers and other concerned citizens who are all wanting to follow the continuing Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on alleged corruption within the Armed Forces of the Philippines. READ MORE
Thursday, 03 February 2011
We have a true ‘soldier’ in the form of anti-corruption fighter Heidi Mendoza –we just need to encourage more people like her to step forward and join her army. READ MORE
In the National – Not Personal Interest
Wednesday, 02 February 2011
‘Basic fair play, decency, good manners and right conduct.’ These words appeared in a well-argued column yesterday by William M. Esposo, the self-styled Chair-wrecker from the Philippine Star. READ MORE
Poor Budgeting, Too Many Contingency, and Special Purpose Funds and ‘Savings’ – All A Recipe For Corruption
Tuesday, 01 February 2011
Without commenting on who is charging what about whom in the AFP right now, it is not difficult to see how pabaon (send-off money) scandals can so easily happen. Blue Ribbon Committee hearings and politicians talk incessantly about slush-funds - and they seem to feature in every high level case of alleged corruption: But as yet, we don’t seem to link the ubiquitous slush funds with the ubiquitous and hugely discretionary contingency and special purpose funds (and dare we say it again, the PDAF/Pork Barrel Allocations) which are written into national budgets and approved by legislative committees year after year.” READ MORE
Officials Ignoring DILG Orders to Stop Personalizing Public Projects
Friday, 21 January 2011
A public-spirited citizen from Samar has just sent us in a series of photos and a complaint that government officials there appear to be in clear breach of a circular from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) banning the use of “names or initials and/or images or pictures of government officials in billboards and signages of government programs and projects.” READ MORE
The Good and Bad News from TI’s 2010 Global Corruption Barometer
Sadly the Supreme Court ruling on the legality of the Truth Commission comes as no surprise. We put ‘sadly’ not for the reasons that some might think – that many claim the Court to be biased against the Aquino government. It is ‘sad’ because it was perfectly clear back in May that any attempt to set up a commission which would only look at the alleged misdeeds of the Arroyo administration was a very poorly judged one. It suggested the move was much more about politics than it was about addressing the root of the problem of corruption in the Philippines. READ MORE
University Budget Cuts – Fact or Fiction and the Media’s Mission To Explain
29 November 2010
Opinion is critical and freedom of expression an inalienable (natural) right. Too is the right to information and often we assume they are the same thing. Yet information is essentially data and fact. Unfortunately, too much reporting the world over is poorly rooted in fact and too heavily in opinion and hearsay. READ MORE
Open Budget, Open Government
29 November 2010
Government officials, members of civil society organization workers, academic experts, business people and international development agencies met on Saturday November 20 in Pasig City to sign an agreement in a bid to make government budgets more open. READ MORE
Transparency in Government Contracts to Big Business and Consultancies
22 November 2010
“We are beginning to learn who works where, what departments spend and who are the big business recipients of taxpayers’ money,” journalists from the UK Guardian wrote last Friday in response to the latest release of financial details by the British Government. READ MORE
PPTRP holds 10th budget reporting training in Bohol June 30
The Philippine Public Transparency Reporting Project (PPTRP) held its 10th training on advanced transparency and anti-corruption reporting called “Numeracy for Journalists, Civil Society Organizations and Citizens” on June 30 at the JJ’s Seafood Village in Tagbilaran City in Bohol. READ MORE
PPTRP holds 9th budget transparency reporting training in Kidapawan City June 6
The Philippine Public Transparency Reporting Project (PPTRP) held its 9th training on advanced and anti-corruption reporting dubbed as “Numeracy for Journalists, Civil Society Organizations and Citizens” on June 6 at Boylyn Pension Plaza in Kidapawan City. The training was made possible with the financial assistance of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the technical assistance of the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI). READ MORE
PPTRP holds 8th budget reporting training in Pampanga June 3
The Philippine Public Transparency Reporting Project (PPTRP) held its 8th training on advanced and anti-corruption reporting dubbed as “Numeracy for Journalists, Civil Society Organizations and Citizens” on June 3 at the Social Action Center of Pampanga in San Fernando City, Pampanga. READ MORE
PPTRP-supported Local Transparency Groups Share Experiences in Reporting, Fighting Corruption
Three local transparency reporting groups which the Philippine Public Transparency Reporting Project (PPTRP) supported and helped establish gathered on June 3 in Bohol to share experiences in building transparency and accountability in their respective communities. READ MORE
PPTRP holds 7th budget reporting training in Davao City May 27
The Philippine Public Transparency Reporting Project (PPTRP) held its seventh training on advanced transparency and anti-corruption reporting called “Numeracy for Journalists, Civil Society Organizations and Citizens” on May 27 at the Ateneo De Davao in Davao City. READ MORE
PPTRP holds 6th budget transparency reporting in Dipolog City May 23
The Philippine Public Transparency Reporting Project (PPTRP) held its 6th training on advanced transparency and anti-corruption reporting called “Numeracy for Journalists, Civil Society Organizations and Citizens” on May 23 at the Top Plaza Hotel in Dipolog City. READ MORE
PPTRP meets with editors and columnists May 18 to discuss media coverage of public corruption
The Philippine Public Transparency Reporting Project met with editors and columnists of selected national and international media organizations May 18 in Manila to discuss current media behavior and thinking in relation to public corruption and transparency. READ MORE
Rodolfo “Jun” Lozada, the former CEO of the Philippine Forest Corporation who later disclosed explosive information on the anomalous USD 329 million NBN-ZTE deal that nearly brought down the presidency of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, shared his views May 9 with the Philippine Public Transparency Reporting Project on continuing the fight against corruption and for genuine transparency under the new administration. READ MORE
PPTRP holds 5th budget reporting training in Ozamiz City April 26
The Philippine Public Transparency Reporting Project held its fifth training on advanced transparency and anti-corruption reporting called “Numeracy for Journalists, Civil Society Organizations and Citizens” on April 26 at the Naomi’s Botanical Gardens in Ozamiz City. READ MORE
PPTRP holds 4th training on budget reporting in CDO April 2
The Philippine Public Transparency Reporting Project (PPTRP) held its fourth training on advanced transparency and anti-corruption reporting called “Numeracy for Journalists, Civil Society Organizations and Citizens” on April 2 in Cagayan de Oro City. READ MORE
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The opinions expressed on this website are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the
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