Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday said the House of Representatives’ stricter rules on accessing lawmakers’ Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) is a step backwards in the fight for transparency in government.
VP Leni, herself a former lawmaker, emphasized that the document allows the public to know its public officials better, and the House’s move to make it more difficult to access the SALN of lawmakers is unfair.
“Para gawan ng exemption, ginawang mas istrikto para sa mga members ng Kongreso, hindi iyon makatarungan, kasi gusto bang sabihin mas espesyal sila kaysa sa ibang mga public servants? Gusto bang sabihin mas kailangan silang ma-protect kumpara sa ordinaryong naninilbihan sa pamahalaan?” she said in her weekly radio show, BISErbisyong LENI, on RMN-DZXL 558.
“Bakit kailangang may itago?” she added. “Parang lalong binabawasan ang pagtitiwala ng tao sa kanila. Kaya sana mabago pa. Dahil malaking, malaking dagok na naman iyon sa mga initiatives natin for transparency and accountability.”
The House recently adopted a resolution that requires plenary approval before a lawmaker’s SALN may be accessed. It likewise establishes the SALN Review and Compliance Committee, which will process all such request.
Those who wish to get a copy of a lawmaker’s SALN must provide identification and purpose for the request. The requesting party will also be required to sign a sworn undertaking and declaration portion of the request form, which indicates the specific ways the information may or may not be used.