DENR chief assures cracking whip on corrupt personnel

April 9, 2011 2:01 am 

MANILA, April 8 — Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Ramon Paje has assured sanctions for the agency's personnel found guilty of corrupt acts.

"If they help promote good governance, they'll be rewarded, but if not, there'll be punishment," he said.

He noted this is in line with the administration's call for civil servants to tread the straight path so good governance can prevail.

"That's the entire government's direction," he said.

Paje earlier instituted several measures aimed at addressing corruption in DENR.

These measures include scrapping of bidding of illegally cut wood confiscated by DENR.

DENR decided to donate such wood to the Department of Education (DepEd) so the material can be used in making chairs and other school furniture.

This aims to ensure the auctioned wood doesn't end up in the hands of illegal loggers again, Paje noted.

DENR also announced cleansing its list of pending mining applications.

The agency is likewise increasingly posting in visible spots process flow charts which people can use as guide during transactions.

"We identified and eliminated opportunities for graft," Paje said.

To further boost DENR's anti-corruption drive, the agency reported coming up with a Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for its 25,000-strong workforce.

Assistant Secretary Daniel Nicer has the task of supervising DENR's Internal Audit Services.

Paje is delighted about results of PulseAsia's Feb. 24-March 6 survey this year showing DENR as the fourth least corrupt government agency.

In the survey, DENR trails top-ranked Department of Social Welfare and Development, second placer Department of Health and third placer DepEd.

"I'm happy about this and urge our personnel to sustain anti-graft efforts," Paje said.

He maintains DENR's workforce must steer clear of corrupt acts so the agency can further function better and contribute to enhancing good governance in the public sector. (PNA) scs/CJT/mec

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