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UK commits to help fight graft
Embassy to support project on transparency and accountability in local governmentBritish Ambassador Stephen Lillie at the launch
- John Francis Lagman, Quezon City
- September 16, 2011
It marks a ‚Äúsmall but significant step forward in the United Kingdom‚Äôs continued commitment to transparency,‚ÄĚ Ambassador Stephen Lillie said of the project between the British embassy, Reforms for Economic Development (CODE RED) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
‚ÄúIn this interconnected world, one country‚Äôs prosperity supports another country‚Äôs growth," Lillie said during the launch ceremony attended by about 100 people.
Transparency and consistent policies are needed to create the right conditions for business success and sustainable growth in the Philippines, he explained.
The Philippines ranked 134th out of 178 countries in Transparency International's corruption perceptions index. Project bidding anomalies, kickback and other forms of graft have been cited as major obstacles to investment and economic development.
The CODE RED-DILG project intends to provide a venue for local government units and civil society organizations to work together for development. A team of experts will conduct workshops in selected units covering local planning, revenue generation, budgeting, procurement, and auditing processes.
The project is headed by Professor Leonor Briones, convenor of Social Watch Philippines and a former national treasurer.
‚ÄúThe amount of money being given to local governments is nearly as much as that of the national government. No one pays as much attention to it as we do to funding at national level. It‚Äôs important for taxpayers to know what their local government is doing,‚ÄĚ Briones noted.
Engaging religious groups in the non-sectarian project is "important" to Briones.
‚ÄúFaith-based groups have strong convictions and are courageous" because they approach corruption as "an issue of morality, not just legal or government issues," Briones said.