CORRUPTION is the gravest threat to our society. To fight corruption in the country is to educate our people against it, especially those belonging to the younger generation. We need to empower every citizen of the country to build Integrity.
In line with this, one of the programs of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) in the Region is to integrate the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act in the curriculum in the tertiary level, preferably in the National Service Training Program (NSTP) offered by both public and private higher education institutions (HEIs). It is worth commendable also to integrate this Act in the Basic Education curriculum.
Corruption in schools in the other countries is also rampant. In Pakistan, there are warnings about thousands of “shadow schools” without any real students, but drawing public funding to pay for “ghost teachers.”
Reports in Kenya showed that “leakages” in the funding of schools had the equivalent value of losing more than 11 million textbooks. In Tanzania, a study showed that of 180 schools more than one-third of intended funds for education failed to reach the school.
In Greece, there are warnings about nepotism in jobs and promotions in higher education. In Vietnam, there is a problem with bribery for places in the most preferred schools. Reports from the United Nations showed that in 110 countries, tuition and other fees are charged despite of having free education enshrined in law.
Corrupt practices in layman’s definitions constitute:
-persuading, inducing or influencing a public officer to perform an act to commit a violation of rules and regulations;
-directly or indirectly requesting or receiving any gift, present, share, percentage, or benefit, for himself or for any other person, in connection with any contract or transaction between the Government and any other party, wherein he has official capacity to intervene;
-directly or indirectly requesting or receiving any gift, present or other pecuniary or material benefit, for himself or for another, from any person for whom he, in any manner or capacity, has secured or obtained, or will secure or obtain, any Government permit or license, in consideration for the help given or to be given.
Corruptions also happens by:
-accepting or having any member of his family accept employment in a private enterprise which has pending official business with him during the pendency thereof;
-neglecting or refusing to act within a reasonable time on any matter pending before him for the purpose of obtaining, directly or indirectly, from any person interested in the matter some pecuniary or material benefit or advantage;
-entering, on behalf of the Government, into any contract or transaction manifestly and grossly disadvantageous to the same;
-knowingly approving or granting any license, permit, privilege or benefit in favour of any person not qualified for or not legally entitled to such license, permit, privilege or advantage;
-divulging valuable information of a confidential character to unauthorized persons; among others.
Despite the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, corruption continues to be pervasive in the country. We cannot deny the fact that many of our people are not aware of this law on anti-graft and corrupt practices. Hence, the best way to stop graft and corruption is to educate every citizen of the country against it.
Public office is a public trust. Public officers and employees must, at all times, be accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty, and efficiency; act with patriotism and justice, and lead modest lives.
Public officers include elective and appointive officials and employees, permanent or temporary, whether in the classified or unclassified or exempt service receiving compensation from the government.