February 3, 2012
For uniform, vigorous compliance
Sen. Ralph G. Recto yesterday called on the Civil Service Commission (CSC) to spearhead the nationwide education campaign in all government offices on how to truthfully and correctly fill up the newly issued Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) document.
"The retooling of the SALN should start in re-orienting the entire bureaucracy on how to fill it up so that no lapses, discrepancies, omissions or concealment would be committed," Recto, Senate ways and means chair, said.
"A crash course on 'SALN 101' should be in order," he added.
Recto said some 1.3 million state employees, including at least 18,000 elected officials, would be filling up the new SALN this year or before April 30, who would need the "expert guidance of the CSC as the issuing authority."
"To succeed as national vaccine against state corruption, the new SALN must be executed with utmost precision for substantial compliance and this could only be addressed via a tutorial on correct filing," he said.
Recto nevertheless said to have a uniform and vigorous compliance to the new SALN, the CSC should really step in to educate the entire bureaucracy from LGUs, departments and agencies.
The CSC through its resolution 1100902 unveiled a revised SALN form, which include new "fill in the blanks" such as the declaration of "personal and family expenditures", "amount of taxes paid" and "amount and sources of gross income", which were not present in the old SALN.
The senator nevertheless lamented that the CSC may have "overdo" revising the SALN since it would be impossible for any ordinary clerk to supply figures about his personal and family expenses since most of his transactions may not be covered by supporting documents such as official receipts.
He said the CSC likewise requires filers declaring their "personal property and other assets" to distinguish which among them are "tangible" and "intangible."
Recto said the CSC should have just use as template the American SALN version wherein filers were given leeway to state their expenses in "ranges" such as from P100,000 - P150,000 and not in absolute figures.
"A national awareness program on the new SALN would ensure that no public official would be charged or impeached in the future on the ground of defective execution of SALN," he said.
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