Press Release
September 2, 2006


Speaking before members of the law enforcement and civil society, Angara said the best way to confront political corruption is to clean up political parties first.

Very few politicians make it on the national scene on their own. In fact, these politicians need to have padrinos to finance their campaign. Perhaps, the time now calls to subsidize political parties for their maintenance as well as fund their campaign in election period so that politicians, once elected, would not be tied to the interests of their financiers, Angara said in the United Nations Convention Against Corruption Forum held recently in the Senate.

Angara suggested a certain f und shall be appropriated in the national budget and shall provide subsidy to political parties for their operational expenses and party-building activities. This fund will be used not only for electoral campaign but also for the partys developmental programs.

But in exchange for this fund, these political parties must now be accountable to the public and subject themselves to strict audit, Angara continued.

Corruption is not simply a moral issue. It is an adverse factor on our fight against poverty. It robs our people of limited resources which we could have used to build classrooms or allocate for health spending, he said.

Angara noted the findings of Word Bank which stated that US$50 billion have been lost to corruption, an amount which could have been used to ease the countrys huge foreign debt.

Every year, we lose P100 billion due to corrupt procurement of public goods and services, he lamented. The extent and depth of corruption in the private sector is almost matched by the depth and extent of the corruption in public service. It takes two to tango.

Angara authored the e-procurement law, which now stands as the Philippines biggest anti-corruption measure. It overhauls what was then an obsolete and fraud-prone public procurement system from the purchase of government supplies, to the hiring of consultants, to the bidding and award for government infrastructure contracts. In fact, about P25 billion is saved through the application and implementation of the e-procurement law.

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