Inside out

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(UPDATE) First anti-corruption center to be built in RP

Posted by Abi Kwok on August 27, 2008

Country now ‘controlling corruption’–Gutierrez

By Abigail Kwok
First Posted 12:18:00 08/27/2008

MANILA, Philippines — The first ever institution in Asia that will focus on the study and prevention of corruption will be built here in the Philippines, Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez announced on Wednesday.

Gutierrez led the signing of the memorandum of understanding, which will pave the way for the establishment of the Center for Asian Integrity (CAI) that would focus on the study of corruption through three approaches:

• incorporating the Ombudsman’s training center, which will train trainers, investigators, and prosecutors on integrity. Gutierrez also said that the Ombudsman Academy, currently housed at the Office of the Ombudsman at Quezon City, will eventually be transferred to the CAI;

• incorporating a research program to provide qualitative and quantitative research on corruption using international methodologies. This will entail the creation of a “virtual library” for researchers, scholars, and other interested individuals to access information about corruption; and,

• providing curriculum design and course development on “integrity courses” accredited by the University of the Philippines. Interested individuals may also enrol in courses that will major in integrity and ethical standards.

Gutierrez said the establishment of the CAI here was an “indicator” that the country was “controlling corruption” since international standards had to be met before the center could be built.

This indicator, Gutierrez said, was based on “quantifiable and not just perceptive methods” that the country was able to control corruption.

Meanwhile, Professor Charles Sampford from the Institute of Ethics, Governance, and Law (IEGL) said that the creation of CAI would help tackle the issue of corruption in a “calculated and coordinated way.”

Sampford, who witnessed the signing of the MoU, admitted that corruption could not be solved but that the question to be asked is “how do we deal with corruption?”

“Officials and institutions are given powers but there is an inherent danger to these powers to be abused and misused…there is a need for coordination of strategies and the need for research,” he added.

CAI will be funded by the Millennium Challenge Corporation-Philippine Threshhold Program through the Asia Foundation.

The signing, held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), was witnessed by foreign anti-corruption groups including Brunei, Cambodia, and Thailand, capping the two-day Ombudsman meet against corruption.


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