The NEDA-LEDAC Secretariat participated in the Office of the President-Office of the Ombudsman joint technical working group (JTWG) planning workshop on United Nations Convention against Corruption or UNCAC and Integrity Management Program implementation held on January 23, 2014.

The JTWG identified several items from the 21-point agenda under the UNCAC that need to be prioritized in the 16th┬áCongress, namely: the passage of Witness Protection Act, Whistle Blowers’ bill, Freedom of Information bill, amendment to forfeiture law, and a bill seeking the criminalization of bribery in the private sector, among others.

Another highlight in the planning workshop was the review of the draft Executive Order creating an inter-agency committee to oversee the assessment, implementation and monitoring and review of Philippine compliance with the UNCAC.

The proposed committee shall be chaired by the Executive Secretary with the following as members: (a) Secretary of Justice (Vice Chairperson); (b) Secretary of Foreign Affairs; (c) Secretary of Budget and Management; (d) Secretary of Socioeconomic Planning; and (e) Secretary of Interior and Local Government. The Committee shall also designate representatives from relevant civil society organizations, non-government organizations, business sector, academe and other private entities that pursue anti-corruption efforts. In addition, the Committee shall invite representatives from Constitutional bodies, Congress and the Judiciary.

The said Committee shall have the following functions, among others: (a) formulate plans, policies and strategies related to UNCAC; (b) coordinate the implementation of integrity development and anti-corruption measures; (c) ensure compliance by government to all its obligations under the UNCAC; (d) create technical working groups to conduct relevant studies and policies; (e) report and recommend policy advice to the President.