Lacson vows gov't cleansing during first 100 days if elected president

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 28) — Senator Panfilo Lacson promises a massive internal cleansing in the government during his first 100 days if elected president.

"Nasa 1.4, 1.3 million ang empleyado ng gobyerno... Ako, I don't mind kung maiwanan lang sa gobyerno sa aking pamumuno 500,000. Basta yung 500,000 na yun, yun ang totoong nagta-trabaho, hindi nagnanakaw, hindi magpapahirap sa mga dumudulog sa tanggapan ng pamahalaan, kuntento na ako doon," Lacson said in an interview with DZRH.

[Translation: The government has 1.4, 1.3 million employees. I won't mind if under my leadership I will be left with 500,000. As long as those 500,000 are true to their jobs, do not steal, do not give those seeking help from the government a hard time, then I'm content with that.]

Lacson said half of the country's problems will be solved if corruption will be eliminated.

Aside from filing charges against corrupt officials, among the specific strategies of the Partido Reporma standard bearer are digitalization and automation of government processes, and reforming the national budget.

Lacson said he believes in leadership by example, so his first order of business if elected president will be waiving his rights under the bank secrecy law. He will also encourage members of his cabinet to follow suit.

Pork barrel must not be abused

Pork barrel - or government appropriation for local projects - is not illegal, according to Lacson. But the senator said the funds have been abused and misused.

This is why he is pushing for budget reform, specifically zero budgeting strategy - or not imposing budget ceilings on government agencies.

Through this, local government officials and district representatives may propose projects that they need in their respective jurisdictions through their local development councils, he explained.

"Yan nga ang gusto nating i-correct sa budget process. Kasali na sila all the way. Hindi lang sa pagdating sa kongreso ng budget," Lacson said.

[Translation: That is what we want to correct in the budget process. They are included all the way. Not only when the budget is in Congress.]