LEGAZPI CITY (02-June-12/PNA) – Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo said on Friday here that he would encourage local chief executives (LCEs) to sign waivers for the opening up of their Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net worth (SALN) as a gesture of transparency and accountability as elective officials.
Robredo said he strongly favors the disclosure of SALN but the agency cannot compel local officials because the DILG does not have the mandate as the SALNs of LCEs are submitted directly to the Office of the Ombudsman.
“We have no mandate to require them to submit and disclose their SALN. It’s up to them whether they would like to show this to the public, for transparency purposes,” Robredo said.
Robredo pointed out that the voluntary signing of waivers disclosing SALNs would be a good practice in complying with the Department of Interior Local Government (DILG) search for a “Seal of Good House Keeping” of various Local Government Units (LGUs) across the country.
At a press conference, Robdredo explained that the search for LGUs “Seal of Good House Keeping” involves transparency, accountability and full disclosure of financial and operational aspects in carrying out and delivering the mandated services to the public.
Robredo launched on Friday the third leg of the DILG Tapatan Roadshow focusing on Disaster Preparedness that was attended by the governors, town and city mayors in Bicol; and members of the Regional/Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils.
At the forum, majority of the LCEs interviewed by this reporter reacted positively to the call of Robredo for a full disclosure of the respective SALN.
The following are their statements:
Masbate Gov. Rizalina S. Lanete said: “This had been already my practice since I was still in Congress, my SALN is open to anybody who wishes to see it.”
Naga City Vice Mayor Gabriel Bordado said he favors the proposal since the move would be major breakthrough in showing the public that elected officials are transparent and accountable.
City Mayor Geraldine Rosal, Tiwi Mayor Ammie Villanueva, Pioduran Mayor Dante Arandia and Canaman Mayor Gil Basmayor, were one in favoring the proposal of Robredo for the waiver signing on SALN.
Guinobatan Mayor Juaning Garcia said the signing of waivers for the SALN should apply first to impeachable officials, although he has nothing to hide in his SALN. (PNA)