Minutes of 12 May 2011 meeting held at the JIL Parish , Sechshauser Str. 48, 1150 district, from 18:30 to 21:00 hours, presided by Bro Ben Repol.

PHOTOS

Opening prayer was led by Pastor Oscar Bathan quoted from John 14:14.(“You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.“)The minutes of the previous meeting (14 April 2011) was read and approved by the body.

What we can do to create awareness, to inform,and what steps to take to minimize or lessen corruption.

The root of corruption can be traced to our culture, to our way of life:

1)  The culture of impunity- persons commit small or big crimes, willfully or not, but not punished for crime committed or even exempted from punishment because of connection.

2)  For a Filipino to tell the truth is relative: if the truth does not offend and if it can save  face.

3)  OFWs are often victims of double jeopardy, ie. forced contribution to the OWWA trust fund that is vulnerable to corruption; and suffering from lack of or inadequate rescue, evacuation and repatriation as a consequence of unrightfully depleted funds.

If corruption is weeded out from our society, this can help improve life conditions in the Phil. esp. the poor who should benefit from resources which end up in the pockets of corrupt leaders and politicians instead of projects for education, health and infrastructures for mobility, communication and livelihood.

How to start in small ways to minimize if not eliminate corruption:

1) Awareness that the problem of corruption exists.

2) Empowerment of the people to fight against corruption instead of supporting it.

3) Start with ones’ self_ being honest to ones’ self  before we can  be honest to others.

4) No „sacred cows“in the country’s campaign to catch the „big fish“ of corruption. The  only one way to make the public believe the anticorruption fight was genuine is through a “big fish” case. It would send a significant signal that there are “no sacred cows” in a country’s campaign. From Tony Kwok, former operations chief of the Hong Kong Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).

5) Put pressure on ordinary citizens, like turning down favor by  falling in line instead of giving „lagay“ esp. from those coming from abroad.

6) Stop making padrino or ninang in weddings or baptism, politicians (like mayor and councilor or embassy official) or other influential persons, who are viewed as nothing but peddlers of their influence.

Other highlights of discussion

1) Statistics: The Transparency International 2010 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), ranked Philippines  as 134th place among the 178 countries around the world.  The Political and Economic Risk Consultancy (PERC)  ranked the Philippines as the fourth most corrupt country in Southeast Asia out of 16 surveyed (2010) by over 2,000 expatriate businessmen. Hence, Filipinos are labeled as corrupt people whereever we are.

2) Corruption hurts everyone and it harms the poor the most. When corrupt people in the government divert funds intended for education, health and other social services, they deny the rightful recipients not only these meager resources but their basic right to life and their future, as well.

3) Foreign investments vis a vis genuine nationalist industrialization will be for further discussion. Also, the government unable to provide employment for a great part of the labor force, has instead of focusing on genuine nationalist industrialization, for decades now, been deploying workers out of the country under the Labor Export Policy (LEP)

4) Not to forget christian values as Paul warned the Romans, saying that:"Because those people refuse to keep in mind the true knowledge about God, he has given them over to corrupted minds, so that they do the things that they should not do."(Romans 1:28) It goes without saying corruption is devil's work and must be resolutely overcomed!

Film viewing of Rizal’s life and works at the next meeting, in honor of his 150th birthday, on Saturday, 18 June 2011, at 18:00 hours in the cellar of Rizal-Blumentritt Society, Eduard Sueßgasse 3, 1150 district. Food and drinks will be served for a small donation to our Movement Against Corruption.

Meeting adjourned at 21:00 hours with a prayer led by Bro. Dominic Briones.

Recorded by:Angie Banke

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