Published by the Visayan Daily Star
Editor-in-Chief & President
Bureau Chief, Dumaguete
MAJA P. DELY
|CARLOS ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the United Nations Development Program called on people across the globe to join a worldwide campaign to raise awareness against corruption and take action against this crime as they marked International Anti-Corruption Day.
UNODC reported that every year, $1 trillion is paid in bribes and an estimated $2.6 trillion is stolen through corruption, representing more than five percent of the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Yury Fedotov, UNODC executive director, said “corruption has a catastrophic impact on societies (as) it stifles opportunities, denying vulnerable people access to infrastructure, and condemns them to lives of inequality and inequity.”
“If people are to be removed from poverty and economic growth promoted, the world must stand united against corruption,” Fedotov added, noting that the crime haunted successive generations and affective countless numbers of people.
The slogan for this year's International Anti-Corruption Day, “United against corruption, for development, peace and security,” urges the private sector and the public to jointly tackle the issue. Fedotov believes that the universal adoption and full implementation of the UN Convention Against Corruption would greatly aid their cause.
The Philippines is a signatory to the UNCAC, the only legally binding universal anti-corruption instrument that covers five main areas: preventive measures, criminalization and law enforcement, international cooperation, asset recovery, and technical assistance and information exchange. The full implementation of its provisions has been a challenge for the international community as countries have often needed policy guidance and technical assistance.
As first hand witnesses to the catastrophic effects of massive corruption in the highest echelons of power, Filipinos should be at the forefront of International Anti-Corruption Day thrusts and activities. However, one look at our country and the way we have allowed corrupt leaders to weasel their way back into power could explain why our fight against corruption seems never ending.*