City of Cotabato – Regional Development Council (RDC) XII was briefed on DILG’s anti-corruption program in Local Government Units (LGUs) called “Bantay-Korapsyon” during its 64th Regular Meeting on December 12 at the EM Manor Hotel, Cotabato City.

Bantay-Korapsyon means  to keep watch, take care of, or be a steward of something of value, and to be side-by-side with, an equal, an ally, a fellow or kapwa, or a partner, Atty. Michelle Ann Viejo of DILG XII explained.

Viejo said that most of the graft and corruption cases and decisions against local officials have to do with misuse, abuse and non-use of authority for private gain. Data from the Office of the Ombudsman show that LGUs have always had the most number of corruption cases in government with 3,854 in 2010 to 2,799 in 2017. Even calls from citizens through 888 tell us that graft and corrupt practices thrive in LGUs and the DILG is being asked by citizens to do something about it, Atty. Viejo added.

Nonetheless, Viejo stressed that based on an examination of DILG legal opinions, initial analysis of the corruption cases involving LGUs shows that some corrupt practices are preventable. Thus, DILG has adopted a 3-pronged Department-wide anti-corruption strategy – educate through building awareness of LGUs and communities against corruption, prevent corruption by helping reduce opportunities for corruption, and deter corruption by raising the probability of catching the corrupt at the local level while at the same time recognizing those who have done well in implementing anti-corruption measures in the LGU. (Guillermo R. Manrique, Jr., NEDA XII-DRD)