06/21/2012, 00.00
INDONESIA - PHILIPPINES

Bishops and lay people lead the fight against corruption in Indonesia

Mathias Hariyadi
A three-day seminar is held in Jakarta. Sponsored by the Bishops' Conference and the Bhumiksara Foundation, the event was led by Ronnie V. Amorado, head of EheM!, a Filipino anti-corruption watchdog founded by the Jesuits. A four-step approach based on a network of groups is proposed as a way to monitor corruption and encourage good governance.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) - Indonesian Church leaders and lay movements have launched a campaign against corruption in the country and the Church itself. The Bishops' Conference (KWI) and the Bhumiksara Foundation, a year since the first meeting, organised a three-day seminar titled 'Ethical Leadership Workshop'. Ronnie V. Amorado, executive director of the Filipino corruption watchdog EheM!, steered the event. Founded by the Jesuits, EheM! is active throughout Southeast Asia.

The seminar was established to answer a basic question, event's organisers said. "At what level can a movement or body start a 'war' on corruption?" For the 33 participants, priests, scholars, business people and others, the answer lies in the promotion of "good habits", including good governance and clean public administration based on honesty and transparency.

During the three days, participants heard one proposal that caught their attention, namely the creation of working groups that would network and share ideas about how to fight corruption. Such a strategy is backed by the KWI and the Bhumiksara Foundation, a non-profit association set up by the late Fr AM Kuylaars Kadarman SJ together with some lay people about 20 years ago.

In his address, activist Ronnie V. Amorado presented a four-step model adopted by his association in the Philippines to fight corruption. The four steps are hands-on experience, analysis, reflection, and action.

Corruption is one of most serious problems in Asia. In countries like Indonesia, Cambodia, China, Vietnam and the Philippines, the problem touches the public sector, big companies but also ordinary people with costs that run in the billions of dollars.

Every year, governments announce new committees to fight the problem. But more often than not, such bodies provide more opportunities for certain political factions to pursue their own interests.

 

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