House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez. (File photo)
MANILA – Majority Leader Martin Romualdez on Thursday endorsed five anti-corruption measures to Speaker Lord Allan Velasco for possible inclusion in the legislative agenda of the House of Representatives.
Romualdez said prioritizing the passage of these anti-corruption bills could help boost President Rodrigo Duterte’s efforts to curb graft and corruption in the government.
“We initially identified five anti-corruption measures and submitted these to Speaker Lord Allan Velasco for his consideration,” Romualdez said. “We hope that we can gear towards the passage of these bills before this year ends, or early next year.”
One of the endorsed bills is House Bill (HB) 7230, which seeks to augment the financial resources of the Office of the Ombudsman by giving it a 30 percent share in any property forfeited in favor of the state under Republic Act (RA) No. 139, otherwise known as the Forfeiture Law.
Also endorsed were HBs 581 and 6003, which require the inclusion of anti-corruption and governance education in the basic education and higher education curriculum, respectively.
The remaining bills are HB 967, which seeks to provide protection and benefits to persons who would report corrupt officials and would serve as witnesses for their prosecution; and HB 579 which seeks to create the National Independent Commission Against Corruption (NICAC) as an attached agency of the Office of the Ombudsman.
All measures are pending at the committee level.
“These bills intend to combat red-tape, and graft and corruption in all fronts, starting from the education of our students, up to the support for informants and witnesses and the creation of a National Independent Commission Against Corruption,” Romualdez said.
Romualdez said the House leadership will back the swift passage of these timely bills in line with its commitment to support President Duterte’s order to investigate corruption in all levels of governance.
In October, the House of Representatives approved on third and final reading a bill seeking to grant anti-red tape powers to the Chief Executive during national emergencies. (PNA)