PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte will be attending the first ever anti-corruption summit this week.
Organized by the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) and the Vanguard of the Philippine Constitution, the two-day conference that starts on Monday will focus on how the Philippines can make bigger strides in fighting corruption.
Dante Jimenez, founding chairman of the VACC, said Duterte would join the participants at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City on Tuesday when organizers would present to him the action plan and output of the seminar.
“The President’s attendance in the summit clearly shows the sincerity of his administration in fighting corruption,” Jimenez said in an interview.
The summit, entitled “Breaking the Chains of Corruption,” will be attended by experts from various fields namely Clarita Carlos, executive director, Strat Search Foundation Inc.; Temario Rivera, chairman of the Center for People Empowerment in Governance; and Eduardo Araral, vice dean of research at Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.
Solicitor General Jose Calida will also be attending the summit to discuss Duterte’s anti-corruption campaign.
Jimenez said it was important for the government to start focusing on anti-corruption to ensure that the financial gains obtained by the country from the recent Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit and pledges from other countries would be used properly.
The VACC chairman added that even the proposed Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (Train), which was expected to generate additional revenues, may not be realized if corruption would not be addressed.
The Train bill which, according to Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara, ways and means committee chairman, may generate as much as P159.5 billion in revenues, is being deliberated before the Senate plenary.
Fighting corruption was one of Duterte’s campaign promises and vowed to end it together with crime and illegal drugs within the first six months of his term.
During his first year in office, the President sacked a number of appointed government officials allegedly linked to corruption.
Duterte, in October, signed Executive Order 43 (EO 43) creating the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission to “assist the President in investigating and/or hearing administrative cases primarily involving graft and corruption against all presidential appointees.”