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Fighting corruption with technology

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When Super typhoon Yolanda devastated the Visayas region last 2013, donations from International community pour massively. The Foreign Aid Transparency Hub, also known as FAITH, is composed of web pages in the government’s official website. It shows the total foreign aid and assistance pledged and received by the Philippine government from other countries. It also shows the list of countries, government and private individuals or organizations that made a donation or pledge to our government. The problem is it lacks data. It doesn’t show the details on how they are spending or distributing the money and goods they received from the International communities.

This problem propelled Gava Technologies Inc. to develop a technology product that would solve issue on corruption and would champion transparency in the government even Freedom of Information Bill isn’t passed yet in the legislative.

Founded by Ann Cuisia- Lindayag, GavaChain aims to deliver a blockchain solution for global giving that aims to combat corruption, misuse, and abuse of foreign aid to the country or location under state of calamity. This foreign aid donation system on blockchain technology will have fully transparent transaction using TCM – triple confirmation method where the public can monitor funds real time, from donor to beneficiary up to its actual use. It has also a provision of scores on how a foundation or organizations have spent their funds on supposed programs.

Lindayag, who is also the founder of Gava Gives, Southeast Asia’s leading crowdfunding platform, says that this initiative is a very timely since Philippines being a typhoon prone country receives a big amount of foreign aids during calamities. “Human greed and the lack of better system cause for foreign aids to not reach their proper recipients. We don’t know how these donations are being spent and sometimes it becomes the root of corruption. So GavaChain is here to promote transparency and accountability.”

GavaChain is among the 20 finalists in Startups to the Resque, a competition organized by QBO Innovation Hub (QBO), the Philippines’ first public-private initiative for startups by Ideaspace, J.P Morgan, the Department of Science and Technology, and the Department of Trade and Industry to showcase emerging startups in ASEAN leveraging on their existing technologies and business models to solve the region’s most urgent problems.

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  • THE SALN CHALLENGE
    Any agency of government, including LGUs and GOCCs, whose head sincerely wants to wage a war against corruption can now use the analytics provided from the SALNs submitted by its officers and employees in assessing each individual’s honesty and transparency in serving the public. Through a red flag system customized for each agency and developed to evaluate the characteristics, patterns and behaviors of the annually reported Assets, Liabilities and Networths, their entire personnel compliment will be ranked from the highest to the lowest in terms of the number of red flag entries received.

    All the agency head has to do is faithfully produce an Excel report from the original SALN of each agency filer in the format we shall provide. These source documents will then be processed at our end where vectors and ratios will be added and used in deriving descriptive statistics. These are then aggregated in order to come up with the collegial standard for the said agency. The details of the agency collegial standard is then used to redflag the major details of all the SALN submissions of the entire manpower compliment.

    The focus of this phase is NOT to highlight the range of personnel from the highest to the poorest as is commonly done by media. Rather, it is to expose how fast, relative to the specific agency’s norm each filer has accumulated wealth through annual increases, if any in his/her Networth. After all, in the true spirit of the constitutional provision on transparency, honesty in the service is determined not by how rich you have become but by HOW YOU BECAME RICH.

    Please note that the Red Flags which will be produced by this system are FOCUSERS of attention crying for answers and should never be perceived even as a mere hint of guilt. It is our belief however that when the answers given defy accounting/audit principles and/or best business practices, the affected filer(s) should already be further investigated through lifestyle checks, real property searches, COA special audits, AMLAC disclosures or any other method deemed appropriate by the agency head.

    Based on the 80/20 Principle, the top 20% with the most SALN Red Flags could already account for 80% of the corruption taking place in the agency. This is how an agency head can objectively file cases without being accused of being subjective or of playing politics.