Stricter rules for SALN filing sought

Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) - October 19, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - An administration lawmaker has sought a more stringent review and compliance procedure in the filing of the statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) to ensure transparency in government.

Sorsogon Rep. Evelina Escudero said House Bill 4783 or the proposed “Enhanced Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Servants” would amend Republic Act 6713, otherwise known as the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards.

She said RA 6713, which was enacted 25 years ago, needs updating to adapt to current situations and keep abreast with international agreements the country has entered into, including the United Nations Convention Against Corruption.

HB 4873, which is pending at the committee on civil service and professional regulation chaired by Leyte Rep. Andres Salvacion Jr., mandates all public servants, except those who serve in an honorary capacity, to file under oath their SALNs and those of their spouses and children or partners, regardless of their legal status.

The SALN shall be filed with the Office of the Ombudsman within 30 days after assumption of office, on or before April 30 of every year thereafter, and 30 days before the date of their separation from the service.

The bill also empowers the Office of the Ombudsman, Civil Service Commission (CSC) and Commission Audit (COA) to obtain documents from concerned banks and financial institutions to show the declarant’s assets, liabilities, net worth and business interests and financial connections.

In the case of the President, Vice President, members of Congress, Supreme Court and constitutional offices and officers of the armed forces with general or flag rank, the declaration shall be disclosed in the most accessible medium, such as websites.

The measure also provides that each government office shall have a review and compliance committee composed of a chairman and two members, to receive the SALN and disclose and evaluate it.

Failure of a public servant to correct, complete or submit his or her SALN based on the procedure and within the deadline shall be a ground for disciplinary action and penalties, including dismissal from service.

Heads of agencies or offices who fail to comply with their responsibilities pertaining to SALN filing of public servants shall also be held liable.

 

ANDRES SALVACION JR. CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION CODE OF CONDUCT AND ETHICAL STANDARDS COMMISSION AUDIT ENHANCED CODE OF CONDUCT AND ETHICAL STANDARDS EVELINA ESCUDERO HOUSE BILL LEYTE REP OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN PUBLIC SERVANTS REPUBLIC ACT
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