If technology could help a candidate win the US presidential election, maybe it could be used in combating corruption in the Philippines. And that’s what Senator Antonio Trillanes IV hopes to do with his new bills.
Here’s the full press release:
Senator Antonio Trillanes IV has filed two anti-corruption bills to make use of technology. He said free electronic delivery of services to the public by government agencies, with more â€˜transaction windows,â€™ could thwart dishonest direct dealings.
â€œComputerization is the best alternative to the usually long-winded and tiring process of transacting business with the government, while potentially decreasing the likelihood of bribery and other corruption practices,â€ said Trillanes.
He added that with personal interactions limited to appropriate â€˜transaction windows,â€™ clients can be barred from entering government offices, which would then drastically reduce petty corrupt acts.
Another bill by Trillanes would mandate video recording of all public bidding conferences for projects amounting to one million pesos or over. This intends to strengthen RA 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act. If passed, video recordings may be subpoenaed and used as court evidence.
The current law requires proper documentation and monitoring of disbursements with other measures to safeguard public money from graft and corruption, including strict accreditation of suppliers and public bidding of contracts.
â€œRA 9184 was a landmark piece of legislation in 2003. But there must be some loopholes if recent headlines show how badly weâ€™re still plagued by corruption,â€ he said.
In 2008 the Senate conducted several investigations on anomalies involving government agencies, including alleged procurement law violations from the Fertilizer fund scam, Macapagal Highway overprice, Quedan and Rural Credit Guarantee Corp. (QUEDANCOR) irregularities, ZTE-NBN deal, and North Rail and South Rail projects.