By Czarina Nicole Ong
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales has issued a reminder to all government officials and employees to file their respective Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALNs) on or before April 30, 2018.
“This act is both a constitutional and statutory obligation of every public servant such that failure to do so warrants the imposition of a concomitant administrative penalty,” she warned.
Several officials and employees already have pending cases before the Sandiganbayan due to their failure to submit SALNs on time. Some are facing cases due to the anomalies found in their SALNs.
Morales said that failure to file the SALN or dishonesty in doing so warrants the suspension of one to six months for the first offense. For the second offense, public officials and employees face dismissal from service. When warranted, their ill-gotten or unexplained wealth may also be forfeited.
In the SALN, officials have to declare under oath their assets – lands, houses, and cash as well as liabilities – personal or institutional loans. They are also required to declare their business and financial interests, as well as that of their spouses and unmarried children under 18 years of age still living in their household.
The SALN includes a waiver authorizing the Ombudsman or her authorized representatives to obtain and secure documents that may show assets, liabilities, net worth, business interests, and financial connections from all appropriate government agencies for investigatory purposes.
Republic Act No. 6713, otherwise known as the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards of Public Officials and Employees, requires the submission of SALNs within 30 days after assumption of office, on or before April 30 of every year thereafter, and within 30 days after separation from the service.
The only ones exempt from filing SALNs are government officials and employees who serve in an honorary capacity, laborers and casual or temporary workers.