President Aquino vows
to boost anti-corruption campaign
MANILA, Dec. 16 -- President Benigno S. Aquino III on Tuesday pledged
that the government will boost its anti-corruption campaign to better
empower the Filipino people.
In a speech delivered during the 3rd State Conference on the United Nations
Convention Against Corruption at the Rizal Hall of Malacañang Palace, the
President noted how the government's all-out campaign against corruption has
produced stellar results.
"Over the past five years and five months, we, together with the Filipino
people, have transformed our country from the Sick Man of Asia into Asia’s
New Darling, we have channeled our economic success into social services
that make certain that our growth is inclusive, and we have begun to see the
tangible impact of our long-term efforts to alleviate poverty,” Aquino said.
According to the President, part of this inclusive growth was the 1.4
million Filipino households (roughly equivalent to 7 million Filipinos)
lifted above the poverty line, and the lowest unemployment rate the country
received in a decade.
“All this is rooted in the battle cry of our administration, ‘kung walang
corrupt, walang mahirap. (where there is no corruption, there will be no
poverty),’” he said. "Throughout our administration, we have stood by that
promise, with a view of empowering our people, showing them how it is to
have a government that truly works for them.”
President Aquino said that to eliminate corruption and institute
transparency in every possible pocket of governance, the government fixed
the budgeting system that was prone to leakage and corruption, turning it
into zero-based budgeting.
He also pointed out that the country has improved its ranking in surveys
that measure corruption, with Transparency International bumping the
Philippines up 49 places in its Corruption Perceptions Index, and the
Heritage Foundation bumping the country up 48 places in terms of Freedom
from Corruption, which is part of its Economic Freedom Index.
Aquino said an empowered government has a greater capacity to invest in its
people. This was translated in the success in the implementation of the
administration’s human development programs such as the 4.4 million
household beneficiaries of the conditional cash transfer program. The
beneficiaries have additional resources to get by and can more ably send
their children to school.
The education sector has managed to clear all inherited backlogs in
classrooms, school seats, and textbooks, and at the same time upgrading its
basic education system to be at par with global standards. In the health
sector, the bottom 40 percent of the country’s population can now just walk
into any government hospital and show their PhilHealth card to receive
treatment, free of charge.
“Until the very last day of my term, we will strive to do even more against
corruption and to uplift as many of our countrymen as possible, and we
encourage our colleagues from the Legislature and the Judiciary to continue
doing the same," the President said. (PCOO/PND)