Philippines Ombudsman’s “Lifestyle Check Hotline” Project Launched

November 21, 2007 at 6:03 am 9 comments

To increase awareness and promote active participation of the public in the fight against graft and corruption, particularly in the conduct of lifestyle check investigation, the Field Investigation Office (FIO) has launched the OMB Lifestyle Check Hotline (OMB LSC Hotline) during the Office’s 3rd Integrity TV Show which was held last December 9, 2006 at the SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City.        

The OMB LSC Hotline opens its line of communication to encourage the public to report incidents of corruption, especially of the ill-gotten or unexplained wealth of government officials and employees.

FIO investigators, particularly the Associate Graft Investigation Officers and the Legal Assistants serve as Hotline Agents on a daily rotation basis, from eight in the morning until five in the afternoon.

In preparation for the additional task, the investigators were oriented in a simulation/workshop and dry run on December 7, 2006 and February 5, 2007, respectively for the first two batches of agents. The orientation covered basic telephone etiquettes, the duties and responsibilities of the OMB LSC Hotline personnel, and the procedure for receiving various calls and complaints from the public.

The actual operation of the OMB LSC Hotline started last December 11, 2006.  Since then, numerous calls and complaints have been received by the Hotline agents.  Aside from requests for the conduct of lifestyle check investigation, complaints received include bribery/extortion and requests for public assistance, among others.  Follow-up calls were also received.  The OMB LSC Hotline numbers are 927-4102 and 927-2404 (telefax). 

And as the OMB LSC Hotline banner say “corruption is not a victimless crime”, so let us encourage the public to break their silence and report crimes of corruption. 

Posted by the Office of the Ombudsman of the Republic of the Philippines

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9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. köp viagra  |  October 5, 2008 at 2:30 pm

    “And as the OMB LSC Hotline banner say “corruption is not a victimless crime”, so let us encourage the public to break their silence and report crimes of corruption. ”
    i fully agreed

    Reply
  • 2. aoab  |  October 6, 2008 at 7:42 am

    Thanks for the comment. Yes, reporting puts into motion efforts to reduce corruption. The idea of a dedicated hotline services as introduced by the Philippines Ombudsman is sound not only because it can help reduce hesitation in reporting in writing. In some countries with low literacy rates sending a written complaint is in itself an issue so services offered over telephone hotlines present a great alternative.

    A number of AOA members have introduced similar, IT and communication technology based services. Korea for example, has an impressive call centre service termed as the Online Complaints Plaza which acts as a complaints clearing house. The Wafaqi Mohtasib (Federal Ombudsman) of Pakistan is in the process of establishing a call centre for assisting complaints in making and tracking complaints.

    Reply
  • 3. Poor Claire  |  November 30, 2008 at 3:19 am

    How do you go about the ” lifestyle check” investigation of the person reported to you anonymously? I am against corruption in the government and I am a human rights advocate at the same time. There is a possibility that this hotline may be used by people with personal motive against the person he or she is reporting like personal differences, anger. “inggit” or just to malign an individual, making it so unfair to the person being reported. I hope that gov’t funds will not be used to fund malicious and baseless accusations.

    Reply
  • 4. aoab  |  December 1, 2008 at 5:47 am

    Poor Claire, you raise a pertinent point to which our colleagues from the office of the Philippines Ombudsman wil no doubt respond. However, I am confident that the Philippines Ombudsman has considered all possibilities and will, like other efforts it undertakes, ensure efficient and productive use of funds under this initiative.

    The fact that there is such an initiative is commendable in the first place. Would be good to learn about similar efforts in other countries, to promote transparency and accountability of public officials.

    Reply
  • 5. Pvt Ryan  |  December 3, 2008 at 2:16 am

    I agree with Poor Claire. I am a living example of how this ” lifestyle check” was misused and abused. I worked for the gov’t for 2 yrs. I was never involved in any case nor touched a single centavo from the gov’t. I have financial means of my own to have a comfortable lifestyle because I worked hard for it as a private person.An anonymous letter was sent 4 months after my resignation. The Ombudsman people investigated on all my records to find even a smallest fault and flaws. 3 years later, I received a complaint and asking me to explain on small details which they blown out of proportion making it sound so grave. My point is, why me?There are thousands of corrupt gov’t officials who used millions of gov’t funds for personal gain and were never investigated. They barked at the wrong tree. Was it a money making scheme? This experienced caused me physical suffering, wounded feelings and mental anguish. I felt that my right as an individual was violated. I am crying for justice and wanting some help but don’t know where to run to. Who could help me? I somehow lost my trust and confidence to people in the gov’t.

    Reply
  • 6. aoab  |  December 3, 2008 at 7:58 am

    Ryan, since this is something which falls under the jurisdiction of the Philippines Ombudsman I am sure they will respond on your complaint.

    Reply
  • 7. larry chua  |  February 6, 2009 at 2:15 am

    good day, i would like to ask if i can report a pagcor executive who ask for money in exchange of a project within his jurisdiction even if he uses a third party? This is what happen to me, on july 2007, someone called up to my cell informing me that they (married couple) saw my truck hauling garbage in a mall and that they can help me get the contract of collecting garbage in parcor near the airport and they want me to meet them asap. So we meet the next day and they repeat what they say on the phone but this time telling me that the executive of pagcor (they only told me the first name which is LERI) tells them that he wants a 80% commision out of the contract but they can help me increase the contract price from Php 5,000 to Php 25,000 and as a sign of goodwill from me, sir LERI wants a one month advance of the commision which is Php 20,000. The couple also asked me to give the money immediately or else they’ll look for someone else who can give them the money right away. In order to have the contract, I gave them the money and they promise to inform me asap when to start to collect the garbage. But since July 2007 and up to the present, they’ll just text me alibis (the most important are saved in my cell) until the couple promise me to get the money from sir LERI so that they can return it to me. But until this date, only Php 4,000 was deposited on my account and the couple told me that if they can collect money from sir LERI, they’ll give it to me but if not, they can only say sorry.

    Reply
  • 8. aoab  |  February 6, 2009 at 5:34 am

    Larry, thanks for your comment and for sharing this with us. We will also alert the office of the Philippines Ombudsman about this and they will take action as per their rules and regulations.

    Reply
  • 9. Luningning H. Gotera  |  May 28, 2009 at 1:16 am

    Greetings to all at the Office of the Ombudsman:

    I am prompted to get in touch with your Office again, after almost 7 years. I used to be one of your non-organic resident ombudsman during the time of the Honorable Aniano Desierto until the time of Hon. Simeon Marcelo.

    The reason i am writing is to get some advice. We have been receiving reports that our own Finance officer should be subjected to lifestyle check because according to these unofficial reports, he has been living ostentatiously- which to everybody’s mind here at our office, is way out of the salary he has been receiving. This way of extravagant living started only in 2006-2007, just barely two years after he was designated finance officer. His actual position is planning officer. In fact some anonymous letters sent to your Office have been made in the past, i don’t know what happened to the investigations made. Then, there are articles written in tabloids, calling the attention of the DDB Chairperson to look into the lifetyle of this employee.

    Can you at least advise what is the most logical, systematic way to request the Ombudsman to undertake a lifestyle check on employees who are living beyond their means?

    Reply

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