The Daily Manila Shimbun


Corruption index on Philippines worsens  

January 25, 2017

Corruption perception on the Philippines has worsened as its ranking fell by six notches compared to a year ago, the Transparency International said on Wednesday.

In the Corruption Perception Index 2016, the Philippines ranked 101st out of 176 countries included in the report from 95th in 2015. In both years, the Philippines got garnered similar scores of 35. The scale of 0 means highly corrupt and 100, very clean.

President Rodrigo Duterte’s dramatic rise to power in the Philippines made extensive use of anti-corruption rhetoric, it noted.

"Yet, the impact of death squads, attacks on media and violent intimidation to the detriment of democracy and democratic institutions is yet to be seen in 2017," said Transparency International, a global coalition against corruption.

The Philippines shared the 101st spot with Gabon, Niger, Peru, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Trinidad and Tobago.

The Transparency International said majority of Asia Pacific countries sit in the bottom half of the latest index where 19 out of 30 countries in the region scored 40 or less out of 100.

Compared to other Southeast Asian countries, the Philippines was behind Singapore, which ranked 7th; Brunei, 41st; Malaysia, 55th; and Indonesia, 90th; while ahead of Vietnam, 113th; Laos, 123rd; Myanmar, 136th; Cambodia, 156th.

"Poor performance can be attributed to unaccountable governments, lack of oversight, insecurity and shrinking space for civil society, pushing anti-corruption action to the margins in those countries. High-profile corruption scandals, in addition to everyday corruption issues, continue to undermine public trust in government, the benefits of democracy and the rule of law," it said on the countries in the Asia Pacific, including the Philippines.

Transparency International said the results this year highlight the connection between corruption and inequality, which feed off each other to create a vicious cycle between corruption, unequal distribution of power in society, and unequal distribution of wealth.

"In too many countries, people are deprived of their most basic needs and go to bed hungry every night because of corruption, while the powerful and corrupt enjoy lavish lifestyles with impunity," José Ugaz, chair of Transparency International, said.

It noted that more and more people are turning to populist leaders who promise to break the cycle of corruption and privilege.

"Yet this is likely to exacerbate – rather than resolve – the tensions that fed the populist surge in the first place," it said.

Denmark and New Zealand topped the list with the score of 90, while the bottom three include Somalia (176th), South Sudan (175th); and North Korea (174th). Japan ranked 20th with a score of 72. Celerina Monte/DMS