Anti-corruption advocates urged the government to prioritize the digital transformation of government services and transactions to eliminate corruption.
In a digital forum titled “Fighting the Pandemic of Corruption” hosted by Stratbase ADR Institute, in collaboration with Transparency International Philippines and Democracy Watch, experts discussed that there is a need for proactive governance formed under transparency and accountability to overcome the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stratbase ADR Institute President Prof. Dindo Manhit said that the government must harness digital technologies as a weapon against corruption now that technology was proven to be valuable amid the COVID-19 crisis in the Philippines.
Ateneo School of Government’s Prof. Heidi Mendoza, who also served as a former commissioner of the Commission on Audit (COA), cited the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) as an example wherein the integrity of data was tarnished to achieve corruption.
Under the proposed national budget for 2021, the Duterte administration has allotted P21.4 billion for information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure programs in a bid to digitally transform the government’s services and transactions next year.