Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) Congressman Win Gatchalian urged voters to go for candidates who have a clear platform on good governance as corruption in government is said to have worsen based on the latest Corruption Perceptions Index 2015 by Transparency International.
Transparency International said that on a scale of 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean), the Philippines got a mark of 35, failing to score higher than its 2014 grade of 38. It scored 34 in 2012 and 36 in 2013.
“The next administration should have clear and detailed agenda to attack poverty as well as a heart for the poor. We cannot have another six years of pure rhetoric about fighting poverty. The candidates should present their detailed platform fighting poverty and uplifting the lives of our poor families,” said Gatchalian, who now represents Valenzuela City’s first district after serving as mayor for three consecutive terms.
Transparency International noted in its 2015 report that corruption in the government is not only related to the theft of public funds but also to the perpetuation of poverty: “Public sector corruption isn’t simply about taxpayer money going missing. Broken institutions and corrupt officials fuel inequality and exploitation – keeping wealth in the hands of an elite few and trapping many more in poverty.”
Gatchalian noted that perception of public sector corruption grew worse as cases of corruption remains unresolved in the Office of the Ombudsman especially when the subject of complaints are cabinet secretaries and other top officials who are close to President Aquino.
“The people should vote for candidates with a strong, proven commitment to clean the government– which includes making everyone accountable to the law, even if they are family, friends, or colleagues. The next batch of public officials should also be committed to making the benefits of economic growth accessible to everyone,” explained Gatchalian.
Under the old scoring system where the organization used a scale of 0-10– where 0 means a country is perceived as highly corrupt and 10 means that a country is perceived as very clean– the Philippines scored 2.6 in 2011, ranking 129 among 182 countries.
That grade is worse than the one in 2010, the year of the previous presidential polls, when country scored 2.4, placing 134 among 178 countries.
The legislator, who is running for senator under Partido Galing at Puso, believes that under a Grace Poe presidency, no Filipino will be left behind. “Every Filipino will be afforded the opportunities necessary to partake of the economic gains.”
Gatchalian authored House Bill No. 5905, to be known as the “Free Higher Education Act”, which will fully subsidize tuition fee in all state universities and colleges (SUCs) for all current and future enrollees provided they maintain good academic and moral standing. The measure has already been approved at the committee level.
“Ang edukasyon ay karapatan ng lahat ng mamamayan at hindi lang ng iilang mayayaman. Ang edukasyon ay karapatan ng bawat Pilipino na may sipag at tiyaga na mag-aral. Hindi makatarungan na hindi makapag-aral ang mga mahihirap. Hindi dapat maging hadlang ang kahirapan para sa pagpasok ng kolehiyo,” Gatchalian previously said.
If elected, Gatchalian’s legislative agenda will focus on making quality education accessible to all deserving Filipinos and on making economic growth inclusive, by pushing for measures promoting the development of small and medium enterprises and promotion of microfinance. (Monica Cantilero)