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Corruption index: PHL drive vs graft ‘stagnant’ since 2012

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EFFORTS to curb graft and corruption in the Philippines appeared “mostly stagnant” since 2012, according to Transparency International.

In the 2020 Corruption Perception Index (CPI), Transparency International ranked the Philippines 115th out of 179 countries with a score of 34 out of a perfect score of 100.

“With a score of 34, efforts to control corruption in the Philippines appear mostly stagnant since 2012. The government’s response to Covid-19 has been characterized by abusive enforcement, and major violations of human rights and media freedom,” the report said.

However, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Palace is bent on making a dent on corruption for the remainder of President Duterte’s term.

Roque said the administration’s anti-corruption efforts are carried out by the Anti-Red Tape Authority (Arta), the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC), and the Ombudsman.

However, Roque admitted that the Ombudsman does not have sufficient manpower to handle the “gravity of the problem.”

To help the efforts of these agencies, Roque said the President has resorted to public shaming to make of an example the corrupt in government.

“The President knows there is really a problem in this area because there seems to be no end in sight to the corruption problem,” Roque said partly in Filipino.

He added the President “is aware that we still have a problem that’s why he said he will devote the remaining one and a half years of his term to solve the corruption problem.”

Among Southeast Asian countries, Singapore had the highest score at 85 out of 100 and ranked 3rd in the CPI along with Finland, Sweden, and Switzerland. A score of 100 indicates that an economy is “very clean” and a score of zero indicates highly corrupt.

This was followed by Brunei Darussalam which ranked 35th with a score of 60 out of 100; Malaysia, 57th with a score of 51 over 100; and Timor Leste, 86th with a score of 40 out of 100.

Other Asean countries in the CPI were Indonesia which ranked 102 with a score of 37, as well as Thailand and Vietnam which both ranked 104 with a score of 36.

Myanmar and Cambodia ranked the lowest in the Asean at 137th and 160th out of 179 economies. Myanmar has a score of 28 out of 100 while Cambodia, 21 over 100.    

The Asia Pacific region, Transparency International said, had an average score of 45. The region struggled to combat corruption and tackle the profound health and economic impact of Covid-19, said the report.

The regional average was pulled up by New Zealand, which ranked first in the CPI along with Denmark with a score of 88.

“Covid-19 is not just a health and economic crisis. It is a corruption crisis. And one that we are currently failing to manage. The past year has tested governments like no other in memory, and those with higher levels of corruption have been less able to meet the challenge. But even those at the top of the CPI must urgently address their role in perpetuating corruption at home and abroad, Transparency International Chair Delia Ferreira Rubio said.

The Corruption Perceptions Index ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, according to experts and business people.

The 2020 CPI report highlights the impact of corruption on government responses to Covid-19, comparing countries’ performance in the index to their investment in health care and the extent to which democratic norms and institutions have been weakened during the pandemic.

Read full article on BusinessMirror

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