Escudero files bill mandating public officials to waive bank secrecy

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Contributed Photo
Contributed Photo

By Jelly Musico

MANILA, 1July2013 – Sen. Francis ‘Chiz’ Escudero made good his campaign promise to pursue transparency in government on Monday when he filed as his first bill for the 16th Congress a measure requiring government officials to issue waiver on their bank deposits.

”Those seeking public office to make public their financial records through the signing of waivers on the secrecy of bank deposits to accompany the submission of SALNs (statement of assets and liabilities and net worth),” Escudero said.

Escudero had filed Senate bill 16 (SBN 16) or the Submission of Waiver of Bank Deposits bill, a legislative measure he filed way back in 2010 that seeks the mandatory signing of bank waivers.

The controversy involving the illegal use of Armed Forces funds prompted the filing of the bill.

“This is a transparency move I had advocated for several years ago and it is still an advocacy I am bent to pursue in this fresh mandate given to me by the people,” Escudero said.

”When I went around the country during the campaign I promised our people I will continue pursuing measures to fight graft and corruption, I am only making good my pledge by re-filing this bill, my first legislative agenda in the 16th Congress” he added.

Escudero emphasized that “government service is a privilege and not a right, therefore everyone working in and those who plan to join the government should open their finances to audit”.

SBN 16 stipulates that all public officials and employees, except those who serve in an honorary capacity, shall submit with the Ombudsman a written waiver in favor of the Ombudsman to look into all deposits of whatever nature with banks or banking institutions, both within and outside the Philippines, including investment bonds issued by the government of the Philippines”.

The senator from Bicol challenged his colleagues in Congress to take the lead in the transparency move by enacting this bill into law.

He signed a similar waiver last April 25 when he filed his statement of assets and liabilities before the Senate Secretary. (PNA)

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