Saturday, August 3, 2013

Ombudsman involves Pangasinan youth in preventing corruption

by April M. Montes LINGAYEN – “The battle against corruption is not just the work of the government; it demands every sector of society to halt this practice.” Lawyer Gerard Mosquera, deputy ombudsman for Luzon, told this to youth leaders during the launching of the Campus Integrity Crusaders (CICs) program at the Pangasinan National High School in this town last July 31. Mosquera said, “It is important that principles of good governance are planted among the youth so they can realize at an early age that corruption is wrong and they can do something to prevent it.” With this intent, the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB) and the Department of Education (DepEd) joined hands to introduce the CIC program among young Pangasinenses. The CIC refers to any non-partisan school-based youth organization recognized by a secondary or tertiary educational institution and duly accredited by OMB. The strategy of accrediting CICs aims to empower the youth in their involvement in corruption prevention initiatives by developing their leadership skills and instilling values of integrity and social responsibility. Under the CIC program, youth organizations can undertake activities that will encourage their members and the community to become government watchdogs against anomalies. “Through this campaign, we can create an environment where people, especially the youth, have the courage to become whistleblowers,” said Mosquera. "If they witnessed irregularities, even among their parents, they will not turn a blind eye but will report it to authorities instead,” he added. Meanwhile, Dr. Teodora Nabor, assistant schools division superintendent of DepEd-Pangasinan I, said the event embodies that President Benigno S. Aquino III is serious in his call for the “matuwid na daan.” OMB will also conduct the Ombudsman Integrity Caravan-University Tour this September in 10 colleges including Pangasinan State University here as part of its 25th year anniversary celebration. The university tour seeks to bring in the programs of the Ombudsman and to explain how the community can help the OMB in implementing its programs against corruption. (PIA-1, Pangasinan)

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