Ombudsman gearing up for eSALN program

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 28) — Government employees will soon be able to file their Statement of Assets and Liabilities (SALN) online.

This as the Ombudsman prepares for the full implementation of its web-based electronic filing system for SALNs, due 2018.

The new system will allow government officials or employees to access, fill out, and file their SALN over the web.

In a Press release on Thursday, the Office of the Ombudsman called the program a "key institutional mechanism to combat corruption and promote accountability and ethical standards in public service."

This comes in line with the Ombudsman's 2013 Memorandum of Agreement with the World Bank, which aimed to develop a digital online system for the filing of SALNs by 2018.

So far several government agencies have started training and done data build up for the new system.

Phase one for the eSALN16 system was launched May 2016 with the Ombudsman and Civil Service Commission. Phase two was conducted with the Anti-Money Laundering Council, Office of the Deputy Executive Secretary for Internal Audit, and Office of the Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs.

The program, however, will not do away with hard copy versions of their SALNs.

According to Memorandum Circular No. 2 signed August 2016, heads of government agencies are still required to submit to the Ombudsman both electronic and hard copies of the SALNs of its officials and employees.

The electronic copies should be saved in PDF form and individually saved in a flash drive or CD per person. It must also include a certification stating the electronic SALNs contain the same data as the original copies.

Government officials are required to file SALNs yearly under Republic Act No. 6073. A SALN must contain information on their real property, personal property, all other assets and investments, liabilities, and business interests and financial connections.