The Bureau of Customs (BOC) is still the most corrupt government agency, an annual survey on corruption conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) showed.
Businessmen polled gave the BOC a rating of “very bad” in terms of its sincerity in stopping corruption. The bureau was given a similar rating with a score of –63 in 2013.
The Customs bureau, the Philippine National Police, Department of Public Works and Highways, House of Representatives and Land Transportation Office were perceived as the most corrupt agencies last year.
In 2012, the BOC got a rating of “bad,” scoring –45. It got the lowest score of “execrable” from 2005 to 2009.
The sincerity of agencies in fighting corruption were graded as Excellent (+70 and above), Very Good (net +50 to +69), Good (+30 to +49), Moderate (+10 to +29), Neutral (-9 to +9), Poor (-10 to -29), Bad (-30 to -49), Very Bad (-50 to -69), and Execrable (-70 and below).
SWS president Mahar Manga¬has presented the agency’s Survey of Enterprises on Corruption on Thursday.
Other government offices that received low ratings were the Office of the President, the departments of Health, Social Welfare and the Interior and Local Government.
The agencies that gained some improvements in fighting corruption are the Sandiganbayan, Ombudsman and the Commission on Audit. They were upgraded from medium to good. The Bureau of Internal Revenue was upgraded from poor to neutral, while the Land Transportation Office improved from bad to poor.
The survey showed that instances of corruption decreased to 32 percent. However, 39 percent of those polled said most companies in their sector gave bribes in order to win contracts.
The survey also found that business companies’ interest in supporting groups fighting corruption went down to 64 percent in 2015. The willingness of businesses to help whistleblowers also declined.
Honest business practices also left much to be desired, the survey revealed.
Sixty-four percent of those polled expressed satisfaction in the government’s performance in promoting a good business climate while 72 percent have good or excellent expectations for business in the next two years.
The surveys were conducted in Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna and Batangas, Iloilo City, Cebu island, Iligan City, Cagayan de Oro City, and cities in Davao provinces.
Mangahas said the survey can help government agencies eliminate corruption.
“When our survey reached Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, saying his business license office was so corrupt, he had no qualms in ordering the total revamp of the office. This paid off because since then businessmen never complained anymore,” Mangahas told The Manila Times.