CIBAC Rep. Bro. Eddie Villanueva marks birthday with resolve to continue fighting corruption; files CIBAC Party-List candidacy for the 2022 elections
House Deputy Speaker Bro. Eddie Villanueva marks his birthday by filing the Citizens’ Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC) Party-list’s candidacy for the 2022 elections.
Represented by CIBAC officers during the filing on Thursday, the Deputy Speaker for Good Governance and Moral Uprightness said that his passion for pursuing good governance and righteous leadership never wanes with age as CIBAC Party-List is steadfast to carry on with its advocacy of upholding accountability, transparency, and efficiency in the government.
CIBAC Party-List is a multisectoral organization that believes in the critical necessity of stamping corruption out of the government in order to drive genuine and inclusive development in the country. Prior to having Deputy Speaker Villanueva and Congressman Domeng Rivera as its current Representatives, CIBAC was first represented by its Party Chairman and President, then-Congressman-turned-TESDA Secretary, and now Senator Joel Villanueva in its early years. Subsequent Representatives of the Party-List include former Congressman Sherwin Tugna and Congresswoman Cinchona Cruz-Gonzales.
CIBAC has been instrumental in the enactment of significant anti-corruption laws in the country. This includes Republic Act (RA) 9160 or the Anti-Money Laundering Law, RA 9184 or the Government Procurement Law, RA 9189 or Overseas Absentee Voting Law, RA 9485 or the Anti-Red Tape Act, RA 10149 or the GOCC Governance Law, RA 11032, or the Ease of Doing Business Law, 11059 or the Strengthening of the Office of Ombudsman Law and RA 11746 or the GMRC and Values Education Law.
From its early beginnings until now, CIBAC Party-List has been in the lead in authoring and advocating for the passage of the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill, which aims to boost public transparency and accountability by mandating that all government documents and transactions be made accessible to the people, except for few matters relating to national security.
“The enactment of a Freedom of Information law is indispensable in ushering the country into a new level of transparent and good governance. This is one of the driving reasons why CIBAC Party-List continues to participate in the periodic elections—to remain the voice of righteousness that promotes and advocates good, transparent, and effective governance,” says Deputy Speaker Villanueva.
The CIBAC lawmaker says that the fight against corruption is far from over, thus stressing the need for the anti-corruption party-list, CIBAC. He cites information from the Ombudsman, which states that around 20% of the national budget or approximately P700 billion is lost to corruption annually. With a simple calculation, CIBAC estimates that such amount “could have been put to good use as P1,000 ayuda or allowance to all of 111 million Filipinos six or seven times a year.” In addition, a study Global Corruption Barometer Asia 2020 says that 86% of Filipinos believe that corruption is a big problem in the government. Lastly, the 2020 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) showed that the Philippines scored 34 out of 100 (where 100 means very clean and 0 means highly corrupt), thus ranking 115th out of 180 countries.
“Empirical studies show that there is a positive correlation between corruption, poverty, and inequality. The higher the level of corruption, the higher the level of poverty and inequality. This is so because public funds that are supposed to be translated into meaningful programs and projects that will bring inclusive development and benefit and uplift the living standards of a greater number of people are diverted to the pockets of a few,” laments Villanueva.
“What is more worrying is that the Philippines has not made inroads or progress in its anti-corruption crusade in the last ten years. Its score in the annual CPI practically remains within the same level, indicating no significant progress. In fact, the country slid from rank 99th in 2018 into 113th in 2019 and eventually 115th in 2020.”
During the pandemic-ridden 18th Congress, CIBAC filed resolutions that directed inquiries and investigation into corruption scandals such as the PhilHealth fund management issue, expired and unutilized medicines in warehouses of the government health agency, the multi-billion unutilized and unexpended Bayanihan funds which expired, allegations of corruption in the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) industry.
“We have seen how corruption in its various forms damages our people’s lives, families, livelihoods, and communities. Recent news on the corruption of COVID response funds should inspire every Filipino to all the more love the country and fight for national transformation,” Villanueva said.
CIBAC not only confines its advocacy against government corruption but also opposes measures that will contribute to moral corruption in the country. CIBAC is in staunch opposition to pornography, gambling, and legislation that weaken the cohesiveness of the Filipino family.
“CIBAC’s track record speaks for its dedication and passion to fight for what is best for the Filipinos. With CIBAC participating in the coming 2022 elections, I would like to reassure the nation that we will relentlessly continue our pursuit of upholding accountability in the use of public funds so that it will be utilized to obtain the maximum benefits for our people. So once more, we ask the support of our countrymen to bring back CIBAC Party-list in the Lower House of Congress. Tuloy ang laban!” ends the CIBAC solon.