Mar Roxas on Good Governance

Tuesday, July 31, 2007 | posted in , , , |

The Problem

Excessive secrecy in the government: The government has been habitually withholding routine information from the public just as the executive continues to use and abuse the claim of ‘executive privilege’ to further clamp down on information vital to the fight against corruption and general public discourse needed for democratic governance.

Euro Generals Scandal: The blatant violations of existing laws and executive directives of high-ranking police officials linked to the “Euro Generals” fund mess has tarnished the country once again. The release of the 105,000 euros from the Philippine National Police’s intelligence and confidential funds was tainted with irregularity and disregard of the law, especially after Supt. Samuel Rodriguez testified that he had warned his superior, Finance Service director Chief Supt. Orlando Pestaño, that such a release violated the presidential directive governing the disbursement and expenditure of intelligence and confidential funds.

ZTE Controversy: The Arroyo administration’s undue haste in forging a $1.8-billion loan deal with China for several big-ticket projects, including the controversial $329-million national broadband network deal with ZTE Corp. of China has tarnished our country also. It was not our priority and of limited use only, exclusively for the government. It was not transparent, thus possibly overpriced and overdesigned.

Mar Roxas' Action

Full transparency in government foreign trips: Roxas wants to have more transparency and accountability in the use of public funds for the foreign travels of government officials and employees, including those in the uniformed service. In the Senate, he filed Senate Bill No. 2982, or the proposed Government Employees Official Travel Accountability Act of 2009, to discourage a recurrence of the "Euro Generals Scandal".

Free Information: Roxas wants to reverse the excessive secrecy in the treatment of routine information with no bearing upon national or diplomatic security by placing capricious limits to the people’s access to public information. It violates the Constitution and weakens the principle of democratic checks and balances. He has been pushing for Senate Bill No. 109, the proposed Free Information Act that would require all government agencies to respond to all requests for information within two days. Only requests for information pertaining to national security, diplomatic relations and similar matters can be refused.

Amendment the Government Procurement Reform Act: Roxas wants to let the law clarify that even executive agreements are subject to public bidding in order to avoid another ZTE Controversy.

Foreign assistance-funded projects Transparency: Roxas wants to make sure that their is transparency in foreign assistance-funded projects by having all of them ratified first by the Senate before being implemented.

Mar Roxas' Record

Record of Advocacy: Roxas has been fighting for good governance. In the Senate, he took an active role in the inquiry on the ZTE Broadband Deal, Euro Generals Controversy and the Fertilizer Fund Scam. He has been pushing for transparency in the government especially when he questioned the way how the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain between the Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in the Supreme Court, and succeeded.

He was also the one who bared the $50 million, six-month contract with American lobby firm, Covington & Burling LLP, which would cost more than Washington’s military aid to the Philippines just to promote the interests of the Republic of the Philippines with the US Congress and the US Government on a range of political, economic, and security issues. Another scam which he also bared was the alleged misuse of millions funds for the acquisition of post-harvest facilities of the National Agribusiness Corp. (Nabcor), a government-owned and controlled corporation under the Department of Agriculture (DA).

With these, he would continue to ensure that there is transparency in the government to avoid corruption that has deteriorated our country for several years.

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About The Blogger
Kevin Ray N. Chua

Kevin Ray N. Chua is a 19 year-old blogger from Cebu City, Philippines and an IT Student at Cebu Institute of Technology.

He is currently the Secretary General of the CIT-SSG.

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