Philippine Standard Time:

Yesterday, select personnel from the Bureau of Labor Relations (BLR) and its Director, Atty. Benjo Santos M. Benavidez, participated in the 14th Freedom Run held at the CCP Complex. The event was organized by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF) in cooperation with the Pasay City local government and Integrity Initiative.

FNF is a German foundation for ideas on liberty and training in freedom. It wants to contribute to the furtherance of the principle of freedom in human dignity in all sectors of society in Germany as well as together with partners abroad. Integrity Initiative on the other hand, is a private-led effort to promote good governance, transparent business transactions and implement strict integrity standards in the Philippines.

The theme, “I am Free from Corruption” served as the battle cry of 33 government agencies who participated and make up most of the 3,000 runners. These government agencies include the Department of Labor and Employment, Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Commission on Women, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, Local Government Academy, Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation, Department of Justice, National Power Corporation, Insurance Commission, Office of the President, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, Philippine Navy, Philippine Postal Corporation, Philippine Racing Commission, Philippine Army, Philippine Veterans Affairs Office, Bases Conversion Development Authority, Senate – Office of the Secretary, Social Security System, Presidential Communications & Strategic Planning Office, Commission on Elections, Presidential Management Staff, Agriculture Training Institute, Laguna Lake Development Authority, Office of the Presidential Adviser for Environmental Protection, Career Executive Board, National Dairy Authority, Bureau of Customs, National Defense College, Department of Education, Department of National Defense, and Department of Interior and Local Government NCR.

Quoting Jules Maaten, country director of FNF in his interview, “There are many Filipinos who are against corruption and this fun run is a fantastic opportunity to show it in a friendly and fun way.” The activity was a personification of public and private partnership with a common cause.

True to the country director’s words, the Freedom Run was a successful event. It brought together civil society groups, private citizens and government agencies all in the spirit of unity in advocacy for fighting against corruption.