Corruption in the Philippines

Join the #FaceShieldChallenge to stand against alleged corruption during pandemic

Join the #FaceShieldChallenge to stand against alleged corruption during pandemic
The #CourageON and #PHVote coalitions urge people to write on their face shield as a sign of protest, and post a picture on social media with the hashtag #FaceShieldChallenge

That’s (alleged) corruption staring you in the face.

In the midst of rising COVID-19 cases and prolonged lockdowns, the nation learns not only about the mismanagement of billions in pandemic funds and but also the alleged irregularities in the biggest government pandemic contracts.

Pharmally has been the subject of marathon congressional hearings since August, as lawmakers probe the alleged overpriced pandemic procurement from the company and the alleged corruption in the current administration. The government had awarded pandemic contracts to Pharmally despite the company being only several months old and having just P625,000 in paid-up capital

In total, Pharmally won at least P8.7 billion worth of contracts for pandemic items, at least P4 billion of which were for the use of the Department of Health (DOH). The DOH earlier said it has received over 500,000 face shields from Pharmally as of October 1.

Former employee Krizle Mago initially claimed that Pharmally had changed the expiration dates of face shields delivered to the Duterte government. She, however, retracted this statement. The Philippines is the only country in the world that required face shields both indoors and outdoors, though President Rodrigo Duterte recently announced in September that these are no longer required outdoors.

Many, including medical groups and doctors, have called for a swift probe into the alleged corruption. Among them were the Philippine College of Physicians, along with several other medical societies, which said it was “sickening” to hear people “may have exploited” the purchase of personal protective equipment. They also slammed Duterte’s memorandum barring executive officials from appearing in the Senate’s ongoing probe into alleged corruption in his administration’s pandemic response.

How to join this campaign

Because of this, the #CourageON: No Lockdown on Rights coalition and #PHVote coalition have banded together to stage an online campaign condemning alleged corruption during the pandemic.

Here’s how you can participate in this campaign:

  • You’re encouraged to write “That’s corruption staring you in the face” or your own statement on your face shield.
  • You may use a pentel pen, stickers, or any medium that you prefer. Make sure to keep these on the sides of the face shield, away from your line of sight.
  • Encourage your own network to join the campaign by posting a picture on social media with the hashtag #FaceShieldChallenge.
How others are speaking out

Here are just some of the entries of people taking a stand against corruption during the pandemic through the #FaceShieldChallenge:

Others also tagged their friends to do the same:

Make your voice heard by joining #CourageON and #PHVote’s #FaceShieldChallenge. – Rappler.com