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Corruption: Country

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The Philippines was one of the richest countries in Asia after the recovery from the World War II. However, the growth of the economy slowed down during Marcos’ reign due to economic mismanagement and political volatility. Because of the political instability during the time of former-president Corazon Aquino, the economic activities in the Philippines decreased. A broad range of reforms designed to boost and attract foreign investment during the 1990s results into a elevation in the country’s economy for a short time. During the Asian financial crisis in 1997, the economy of the Philippines once again declined. According to Sicat (2012), Philippines was recently referred as the “comeback economy” in Asia.

After being one of the poorest countries in the world, the Philippines is now slowly raising its economy back to life. During the course of the recent years, Philippine economy grew at an average rate of 4.5 percent per year. Also, the fiscal balance was kept under control. Today under the Aquino’s administration, which is on its second year in power, kept a tighter fiscal framework compared to the previous administration. This will ensure that the money of the Philippines is not going to the pockets of the corrupt people who are in power. The major economic sectors of the Philippines are agriculture and forestry, industry, and the service.

These sectors determine the economic status of the country. Status of the different economic sector of the country differs from each other. 40 percent of the total land area of the Philippines is comprised by arable farmland. The Philippines is rich in agricultural potential but inadequate infrastructure, lack of financing, and government policies have limited the productivity of grains. Philippine farm produce grains and crops for domestic purposes and cash crops for export. About one-third of the work force is/are employed in the agricultural sector but contributes less than a fifth of the Gross Domestic Product of the country or the GDP.

Agriculture generally suffers from low productivity, low economies scale, and inadequate infrastructure support. Although it suffers from these different problems, agriculture outputs grew by 4.5 percent during the first nine months of 2011. Industrial production is centered on processing and producing the following: food, beverages, plastic products, textiles and textile products, clothing, footwear, paper and paper products, printing and publishing, furniture, appliances and electronics. Production of cement, glass and glass products, mineral products, industrial chemicals, iron and steel, metal products, transport equipment, machinery, and refined petroleum products are dominated by the heavier industries.

Newer industries, particularly production of semi conductors and other intermediate goods for incorporation into consumer electronics are important components of the Philippine exports and are located in special processing zones. In urban areas, especially in the metropolitan Manila region, industrial sectors are concentrated and have weak relation to the rural economy. Toyota, the biggest seller of vehicles in the country, together with other major car manufacturers such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Volvo, Ford, Mitsubishi and Nissan find Philippines as their home. Electronics also is playing a huge role in the Philippine industry.

Intel and Texas Instruments, both a major electronics manufacturers, have established their operations in the country. Electronics in the Philippines produce 10 percent of the world’s supply for semiconductor and 50 percent for the world’s production of HD TVs. Because of these improvements, industry sector holds the second largest contribution to the Philippines economy. Service sector is an important part of the economy. This sector provides services, not an actual product that is tangible. Activities that belong to the service sectors include banks, hotels, education, real estate, health, recreation, media, communications, electricity and computer services. The service sector is one of the major contributors to the Philippines economy.

It holds the biggest share to the total GDP of the Philippine economy. Although the economy of the Philippine is rising, the number of poverty in the Philippines seems to be unchanging. Poverty can be defined as a state where the amount of material possession or money needed is not sufficient enough to attain the basic needs of the people such as shelter, clothes, food and water. As of 2011, 26.5 percent of the population of the Philippines is below the poverty line. It is a surprisingly big number of people. Most of these people live in rural areas. In the rural areas, people rely to the agricultural jobs but the agricultural sector is advancing slowly unlike people relying on industrial and service sector of the country, they can feel the changes in the economy of the country.

There are many reasons why there is poverty which are overpopulation, unemployment and corruption, to name a few of them. Philippines is experiencing overpopulation. The population of the country is around 94 million people during 2011. If the population increases in number, more jobs are needed. This will lead to the unemployment. Unemployment is one of the problems that the Philippine is now facing. If people are unemployed, they will not be able to sustain their basic needs and making them poor. The Philippines cannot just abandon them since they are also Filipinos and have right over their country, so there is a fund that the government is allotting for the poor.

These funds can help the poor to be able to sustain their basic needs but the funds which are allotted are not the whole amount that is given to the poor. Some of the money is going to the pockets and wallets of those who are in power or authority. The abuse of the power given to a public official is called corruption. Corruption is one of the reasons why even though the economy of the country is blooming; there is still considerably huge number in the population who are under the poverty line. The funds that are allotted to important sectors are being used by the people who are in own for their own personal use.

Corruption is one of the major problems that the country is experiencing. One common definition of corruption is it refers to the acts in which the power and position of a public official is being used to gain personal purposes in a manner that is against the law. Certain illegal acts such as drug trades, black market operations, fraud and money laundering do not constitute in and of themselves because these activities do not involve the use of public power. However, these operations must have a pubic official and politicians involved to survive and hence these activities seldom thrive without widespread corruption. In this definition, three types of corruption can be identified in democratic societies such as Philippines.

These types of corruption differ in terms n the type of decision that are influenced by corruption, and by the source of power of the decision maker. Grand corruption usually refers to the acts that make economic policies by the political elites in which they exploit their power. Politicians are supposed to make resources allocations but since they have the power, they can either change the national policies or the implementation of the nation policies to their own benefits. This type of corruption may have the most serious effects to the society or a country. For example, a dictator makes no distinction between his own wealth and in the country’s wealth. Byrne(2007) said that Grand corruption is synonymous to political corruption.

Bureaucratic corruption generally refers to the corrupt acts of the appointed bureaucrats in their dealings with either their superiors (political elites) or with the public. The most common form of bureaucratic corruption, which is sometimes called as petty corruption, is bribery in connection with the implementation of the existing laws, rules and regulation.

Legislative corruption refers to the manner and extent in which the voting behavior of the legislators can be influenced (Jain, 2001). The legislators can be bribed by the interest groups to act out legislation that can change the economic rents into the advantages of the groups. This type of corruption would include ‘vote-buying’ either by the legislators in their attempt to be re-elected or by the officials in the executive branch to have some legislation to be passed. Recent years have seen a very outstanding expansion in the economists’ ability to measure corruption. This, in turn, has led to a new generation of well-identified studies.

According to study, Philippines is one of the most corrupt country in the world. As stated in the 2012 Corruption Index of Transparency International, the Philippines ranked 105th out of 176. In a scale of 1 to 100, 100 being the cleanest, the Philippines got a score of 34. The country outnumbered its South East Asian neighbors such as Indonesia and Vietnam. It is true that this is a great improvement for the country but if deeply perceived, it is still one of the band of countries with high corruption rate. “This means we still have to do a lot more. TI Philippines is here to show the Filipino people we can do more many more things to fight corruption,” Rosalinda Tirona said (Salaverria, 2012).

This only shows that the Philippines should take more action and improve how things are done in the country. An example of a corruption-related incident is the regime of the 13th Philippine president, Joseph “Erap” Ejercito Estrada. He was charged with four counts of corruption, involving diversion of funds amounting to about 4 billion pesos. Lawyers said he was found guilty on two counts of receiving payoffs from illegal gambling and taking commissions in the sale of shares to government pension funds (Sturcke, 2007). Because of this, the economy of the country went down. It is clear to each and everyone of us that corruption has far reaching effects to the society. It can affect the economic status of the country.

It is pretty obvious that the amount of corruption is inversely proportional to the economic growth and level of investment. That means that if there is more corruption, the less the investment and also, the less the economical growth. This phenomenon can truly impoverish the Philippine society. Political aspect of the country is also affected. Corruption obstructs democracy and rule of the law. This may result to political instability, distorted political development and reduced transparency of political decision making. Not only the economic status and the political sphere is affected. Social and environmental aspects are also affected. In the social aspect, corruption disheartens the people to work together for the commonweal.

This results to disappointment and general insouciance among the public and this makes the society weak. The society will no longer trust the political officials and also the general public. Demanding and paying bribes becomes a tradition. It also results to increased poverty and lack of basic needs like food, water and drugs, social injustice and widened gap between the rich and poor, hatred, insecurity and jealousy among the people. Since the political officials are corrupt, there is a big tendency that different environmental sectors will follow their footsteps.

Corruption in the environmental sector diverts funds allocated for environmental programs to private pockets through embezzlement and bribery. It facilitates trafficking in wildlife and other natural resources and leads to depletion of natural resources and pollution of environment through bribery in environmental inspections and permitting system. Corruption also contributes to the development of environmentally damaging policies and practices and to unfair allocation of environmental resources that contributes to environmentally harmful practices (Winbourne, 2002).

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