[Featured site] The Philippine Public Transparency Reporting Project

The Philippine Public Transparency Reporting Project

Pera natin to

This project and website is built on the belief that corruption in public life will only ever be reduced when ordinary people are able to understand, monitor — and ultimately have a say on where and how public money is spent.

As the subtitle of this website says, it’s our money (pera natin ‘to). Every centavo lost to corruption is a centavo stolen from education, poverty reduction, social services and job creation. Ultimately, beating corruption will result in more inward investment, serious economic development and far fewer people leaving home in search of a better life overseas.

Transparency and accountability are the greatest enemies of corruption – yet despite repeated pledges of action by successive presidents since the end of martial law, neither has played any real part in government anti-graft strategies. Precious few gains have been made with some polls showing people believing public corruption is in fact getting worse.

Corruption, graft, mismanagement and waste all thrive on secrecy. The closed system of Philippine politics and the equally closed system of managing the nation’s public finances suggests little will ever happen if we rely on those in power. Change will only come from moving the nation’s finances out of the shadows and into the light.

This Project and website aims to put under the public spotlight important issues such as control and management of the nation’s public wealth –and keep them there. We cannot wait any more for transparency and accountability to come: We must build both ourselves. Both require public monitoring, debate, advocacy and action. All in turn require information – and lots of it. Equally, we need education since the more we understand the better our monitoring and the more we can expose corruption and waste.

Everybody can and should be involved. Too many anti-corruption initiatives have focused on just one group, interest or sector and failed to realize that real power and change stems from different and disparate communities and people coming together to organize, share knowledge, forge links, build pressure and collectively force change.

The internet, social media – even texting– all provide us with new opportunities to communicate, teach, learn, reach out, link up and mobilize. Corruption will not take generations to defeat. It simply needs people coming together to see that the public interest is constantly and fully served.

So we are working with journalists and media groups across the country as we are with civil society and seeing how each can work to compliment the other: We are reaching out to link to and learn from earlier and other anti-corruption initiatives around the country – just as we are looking to see how other places like Hong Kong have successfully fought public graft.

We also aim to be a space and platform for ordinary people to report and share their stories and experiences of public corruption, secrecy, waste and mismanagement. From discussion and debate come ideas and solutions.

Some of the best ideas may come from those quietly working already in the field of public finance. There is plenty of space for all and there are countless elected officials, civil servants and auditors quietly working around the country for the good of society and not themselves. So finally, through your support, we hope to be a showcase and platform for what works well and best in public finances around the country.

Corruption kills hope, chance and all opportunity. So it is up to each and every one of us to take responsibility and start building the kind of future we all dream of.

As former US Secretary of Health and Education John Gardner famously said: “The citizen can bring our political and government institutions back to life, make them responsive and accountable and keep them honest. No one else can.”

The Philippine Public Transparency Reporting Project
Partners: IWPR, CCJD, MindaNews and NUJP

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