National Independent Commission Against Corruption (NICAC) Act(House Bill No. 579)

December 4, 2021

An Act Creating the National Independent Commission Against Corruption (NICAC), Appropriating Funds Therefor and for Other Purposes

While the government’s efforts to address corruption has made some substantial inroads, much is still needed to be done. In the 2018 Transparency International Corruptions Perception Index, the Philippines ranked 99th out of 180 countries, jumping 12 notches from its 111th rank placement in 2017. Despite this improvement, however, it was also noted that the Philippines’ cumulative score of 36 is significantly less than the Asia Pacific average of 44. This means that the Philippines still has to make substantial reforms in eliminating and thwarting corrupt practices in government.

Recognising the need to strengthen the anti-corruption framework in the Philippines, this bill creates the National Independent Commission Against Corruption (NICAC) as an attached agency of the Office of the Ombudsman. The NICAC is largely patterned after Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption, which successfully eradicated syndicated corruption in Hong Kong.

The NICAC shall formulate a National Anti-Corruption Plan and provide policy recommendations to the Office of the Ombudsman to effectively combat corruption in government. To ensure coordination between the NICAC and the Office of the Ombudsman, this bill mandates that the NICAC shall be headed by the Ombudsman or any of his/her deputies. The NICAC shall also submit periodic reports to the Ombudsman to ensure that the efforts of both agencies are coordinated and to avoid duplication of work.

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