• Transparency report: PH among most corrupt countries


    THE PHILIPPINES is among the most corrupt countries in the world, ranking 111th out of 180 surveyed in 2017, according to Transparency International, an anti-graft organization.

    The most corrupt is Somalia while the most transparent is New Zealand, Transparency International said on Wednesday as it presented its annual corruption perceptions index.

    Based on the report, the countries are rated between 0 and 100, with 0 being the most corrupt and 100, the cleanest.

    This is based on the data from international organizations like the World Bank, African Development Bank, and World Economic Forum.

    In its 2017 report, New Zealand got a score of 89 while Somalia got a rating of 9.

    The Philippines, with a ranking of 111, got a score of 34 in 2017, and 35 in 2016 and 2015, which means there has been no significant improvement in its anti-corruption drive.

    One of the campaign promises of then presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte was to eradicate corruption in the country.

    Following his election, Duterte warned government officials and employees that he would not hesitate to fire them, including members of his family, if he would detect even a “whiff of corruption.”

    Duterte’s son and Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte resigned from office after he was tagged in the P6.4 billion shabu smuggling controversy, which he denied.

    The Philippines, however, is not alone as “many nations have made no progress at all over the past six years,” according to Transparency International.

    “More corruption correlates with less respect for civil liberties, for rule of law, for access to justice,” Transparency International chief Delia Ferreira Rubio said.

    “The index reflects the relation between transparency and democracy,” she said.

    “Countries where rule of law is respected, freedom of expression is respected, freedom of the press is respected” topped in the rankings, Ferreira Rubio said.

    While New Zealand remained in first place, Nordic countries dominated the top of the rankings, including Denmark at second place, Finland and Norway tied for third with Switzerland, and Sweden in sixth alongside Singapore, the only Asia-Pacific country in the top 12.

    Canada and Britain were tied with Luxembourg and the Netherlands for eighth place, while Germany claimed 12th.

    Other worst performers are South Sudan, Syria, Afghanistan and Yemen.

    “Given current crackdowns on both civil society and the media worldwide, we need to do more to protect those who speak up,” said Patricia Moreira, TI managing editor.

    In an effort to curb corruption, Transparency International recommended that:

    • Governments and businesses must do more to encourage free speech, independent media, political dissent and an open and engaged civil society.

    • Governments should minimize regulations on media, including traditional and new media, and ensure that journalists can work without fear of repression or violence. In addition, international donors should consider press freedom relevant to development aid or access to international organizations.

    • Civil society and governments should promote laws that focus on access to information. This access helps enhance transparency and accountability while reducing opportunities for corruption. It is important, however, for governments to not only invest in an appropriate legal framework for such laws, but also commit to their implementation.

    • Activists and governments should take advantage of the momentum generated by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to advocate and push for reforms at the national and global level. Specifically, governments must ensure access to information and the protection of fundamental freedoms and align these to international agreements and best practices.

    • Governments and businesses should proactively disclose relevant public interest information in open data formats. Proactive disclosure of relevant data, including government budgets, company ownership, public procurement and political party finances allows journalists, civil society and affected communities to identify patterns of corrupt conduct more efficiently.


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