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Davao City, Philippines

Go encourages public to report corruption amid COVID-19 crisis

May 30, 2020 - Saturday 6:05 PM by MDM

Article Banner Image FOOD AID. A Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) member hands out food assistance to a fisherman affected by the COVID-19 quarantine measures in Iligan City. Senator Christopher Lawrence Go has urged the public to report anomalies and corruption-related acts to the authorities, especially in connection with the purchase or selling of medical supplies and equipment. RICHEL V. UMEL / MINDANEWS

DAVAO CITY -- Senator Christopher Lawrence Go urged the public to report anomalies and corruption-related acts to the authorities, especially in connection with the purchase or selling of medical supplies and equipment amid the country’s fight to control the COVID-19 outbreak.

“Hinihimok ko ang bawat Pilipino na magsumbong kung may nakikitang korapsyong ginagawa ang mga opisyal o pribadong kompanya,” Go said at the two Senate health committee hearings on May 26 and 28.

(I am urging every Filipino to report any corrupt practice they see in government officials or private companies.)

Contributed photo

“In times of crisis, every peso counts. While government maximizes its limited resources, a lot of our fellow Filipinos have also lost jobs, livelihood and savings. We are fighting for survival — as survival is the name of the game here. We should not allow corruption and abusive business practices to take advantage of the vulnerabilities of fellow Filipinos,” he said. 

“Kung may alam po kayo na mga abusadong mga indibidwal sa gobyerno man o sa pribadong sektor, huwag po kayo matakot magsumbong sa amin ni Pangulo... Ako po mismo magbubulong ng inyong hinaing kay Pangulong Duterte at sisiguraduhin natin na mapoprotektahan po kayo basta magsabi lang kayo ng totoo,” he added.

(If you know of any abusive individual in government or in the private sector, don’t be afraid to report it to the President and me. I will personally relay your complaint to President Duterte and we will make sure you will be protected as long as you tell the truth.)

ASSISTING OFWS. Personnel from the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) assist overseas Filipino workers heading home to their respective provinces during a send-off at the departure area of Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 on May 26, 2020. AVITO C. DALAN / PNA

Go has constantly vowed to crack down on any alleged anomaly, especially when it comes to the purchase, sale, or distribution of medical equipment and supplies. He also underscored the need for all government agencies involved in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic to account for every single peso spent from public funds.

“Handa tayong mag-conduct ng investigation on all of these alleged overpriced medical supplies, equipment and packages, including the COVID-19 test kits,” he said.

(We are ready to conduct an investigation on these alleged overpriced medical supplies, equipment and packages, including the COVID-19 test kits.)

“Kung makikita nating may korapsyon na nangyari, dapat papanagutin natin ang mga ahensya at lalong lalo na ang mga opisyal nito. Wala tayong papalampasin, at wala tayong pipiliin. Pera ng bayan po ito. Gamitin natin sa tama at wasto lalo na’t nakakatakot ang kinakaharap natin,” he added.

(If we see corruption being committed, we have to make the agencies and their officials answerable. This is the people’s money. Let us use it correctly especially as we face an uncertain future.)

SAP. Social Amelioration Program (SAP) beneficiaries line up at the entrance of the Daliao gymnasium in Toril, Davao City to claim their cash assistance. ARJOY M. CENIZA

“Dapat malaman natin kung inabuso ba o sinamantala ang pagkakataon ng krisis na ito para kumita ang mga taong nasa likod ng korapsyong ito kung mayroon man,” he said.

(We have to know if the people behind corrupt practices are abusing or taking this crisis as an opportunity to earn money.)

As a member of the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on the implementation of the Bayanihan Heal as One Act, Go has repeatedly said with the funds released by the government to address the health crisis, “every centavo counts.”

Go added, however, that he would also give government agencies and concerned individuals a chance to explain their side.

He also appealed to private individuals not to take advantage of the situation Filipinos are currently facing. He urged Filipinos to report any anomalous activity being committed by public officials, private individuals, or companies.

In a virtual meeting with the officials and key members of the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (FFCCCII) on Wednesday, Go appealed for support and assistance from the businesses community and asked them to help the government by also cooperating in anti-corruption initiatives. 

MORE CYCLISTS. The number of bikers on the streets of Davao City has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially after the implementation of the general community quarantine. MINDANEWS

Meanwhile, Go also assured the public that the government remains vigilant and careful in spending public funds appropriated to combat COVID-19. 

“Indeed, we need to improve our capacity in addressing pandemics like this. We hope that the measures we have discussed will address some of our weaknesses and gaps in handling public health emergencies. Let the pandemic be a lesson to all of us and use this experience to improve our health system,” he said.