The Population Growth Of The Philippines
A limited time offer! Get a custom sample essay written according to your requirements urgent 3h delivery guaranteedOrder Now
Corruption is the most evident and very common problem in the world, every country has an issue with regards to it’s government, whether the local barangays, the municipal district up to the higher positions. Information is fundamental to make informed decisions. Information is also power Where it’s not freely accessible,corruption can thrive and basic rights might not be realized. People can hide corrupt acts behind a veil of secrecy. Those with privileged access to information can demand bribes from others also seeking it. People entitled to health or education may be denied these basic services due to lack of access to information about their rights. Governments can hide their actions by controlling or censoring the media. This prevents the facts being reported. The truth is gagged. When our right to know is denied, we can’t hold decision makers or institutions to account for their actions. Nor can we make informed choices when we vote. If information isn’t public, we can’t enjoy many of our rights, such as participating fully in political life. We might not even understand our rights in certain circumstances. When access to information is blocked, we can never know what’s really going on.
Ensuring disclosure of – and access to – information can empower people and institutions to prevent and fight corruption. But it’s a two-way process. Governments must proactively release information about what they do. And we must utilize this information to make full use of our rights. We all have a valuable role to play .We need to make sure that national laws guarantee public access to information – and that such laws are implemented on a day-to-day basis. These laws are a key safeguard against corruption. They enable us to monitor what’s happening. This is vital in areas with specific corruption risks, including water, health and education. Over 90 countries have passed access to legislation in the last 15 years but implementation is patchy. Millions of people still don’t know about these laws or know how to use it to their advantage. Global anti-corruption treaties stress the value of access to information. So governments know what reforms they should have in place. And we can monitor their progress in enforcing those reforms. Then we can make sure our right to know is fulfilled. CORRUPTION IN THE PHILIPPINES AND THE GOVERNMENT’S RESPONSE Spanish Colonial Era:
Corruption is as old as history itself. In the Philippines, it appears to have started historically during the Spanish colonial period when the archipelago was part of the kingdom of the Spanish Monarch. Public office, like everything else within the colony, was treated as a property of the King which he can dispose of as he liked. Government offices or positions were awarded based on patronage or auctioned off to the highest bidder. Government was an instrument mainly for enslaving the conquered subjects for the benefit of the King and his Spanish subjects. American Colonial Era:
The American colonial period saw the formal introduction of civil service and professionalism in government, which may be responsible for the lesser incidents of corruption in the Philippines during that period. Nevertheless, it is from the Americans that the Filipinos learned pork-barrel politics.
Post War Era:
Beginning at the end of the World War II, corruption once again flourished as Filipino politicians scrambled for a share of war damage payments, kickbacks in the financial aids and grants that flooded the Country for infrastructure during the period of rehabilitation, and opportunities for bribes and exactions created by the imposition of import and foreign exchange controls, issuance of mining and logging permits and preferential access to government loans and pork-barrel funds. Martial Law Era:
The Martial Law regime ushered in such a massive scale of corruption as had never hitherto been experienced in the Country. President Ferdinand Marcos centralized corruption in his Office, distributed government positions and profitable sectors of economy among his relatives, friends and cronies, and amassed billions of pesos in ill-gotten wealth. The Guinness Book of World Records, under the heading “biggest robbery”, says that the total wealth taken by Marcos and his wife was believed to be $5-$10 Billion. Government Anti-Corruption Initiatives and Laws:
In order to ensure integrity and efficiency, as well as prevent corruption in Government, anti-graft agencies were established by past presidents: the Integrity Board created by President Elpidio Quirino in 1950, tasked with receiving and investigating complaints against public officials for acts of corruption, dereliction of duty and irregularities in office, succeeded by several agencies with similar functions like the Presidential Complaints and Action Commission under President Ramon Magsaysay, the Presidential Committee on Administration Performance Efficiency under President Carlos Garcia, the Presidential Anti-Graft Committee under President Diosdado Macapagal, and the Presidential Agency on Reform and Government Operations and the Office of the Citizen’s Counselor, both under President Ferdinand Marcos. However, it was observed that those agencies were not equal to the task and the reason seen was that they did not enjoy political independence and their powers were limited to fact-finding investigations and making recommendations. Hence, the 1973 Constitution mandated the legislature to create an office of the Ombudsman to be known as Tanod-bayan, and a special court to be known as Sandigan-bayan.
Accordingly, President Marcos enacted on June 11, 1978 Presidential Decree (PD) 1487 creating the Office of the Ombudsman to be known as Tanod-bayan with principal duty to investigate, on complaint, any administrative act of any administrative agency including any government-owned or controlled corporation, as well as to file and prosecute the corresponding criminal, civil, or administrative case before the Sandigan-bayan or the proper court or body if the Tanod-bayan has reason to believe that any public official, employee, or other persons has acted in a manner resulting to a failure of justice. P.D. 1487 was soon amended by P.D. 1607 broadening the authority of the Tanodbayan to investigate administrative acts of administrative agencies by authorizing it to conduct an investigation on its own motion or initiative, even without a complaint from any person. On July 18, 1979, PD 1630 was enacted further amending PD 1487 and PD 1607, Section 10 whereof enumerates the powers of the Tanod-bayan, among which was to investigate, on complaint by any person or on his own motion or initiative, any administrative act whether amounting to any criminal offense or not, of any administrative agency including any government-owned or controlled corporation, and if after preliminary investigation a prima facie case is found, to file the necessary information or complaint with the Sandiganbayan or any proper court or administrative agency, and to prosecute the same.
After the enactment of P.D. 1487 but prior to its amendment by P.D. 1630, Marcos also enacted P.D. 1606 creating the SANDIGANBAYAN, which was later amended by Republic Act No. 8249. Under the law as amended, the Sandiganbayan is an exclusively anti-graft court, with exclusive original jurisdiction over offenses under R.A. 3019 (the Anti-graft and Corrupt Practices Act), R.A. 1379 (Unexplained Wealth Act) and Chapter II, Section 2, Title VII, Book II of the Revised Penal Code, where one or more of the accused are provincial governors, vice-governors, members of the sangguniang panlalawigan (provincial board), provincial treasurers, assessors, engineers, and other provincial department heads; city mayors, vice-mayors, members of the sangguniang panlungsod (city council), city treasurers, assessors, engineers, and other city department heads; officials of the diplomatic service occupying the position of consul and higher;
Philippine army and air force colonels, naval captains, and all officers of higher rank; officers of the Philippine National Police occupying the position of provincial director and those holding the rank of senior superintendent or higher; city and provincial prosecutors and their assistants, and officials and prosecutors in the Office of the Ombudsman; presidents, directors or trustees, or managers of government-owned or -controlled corporations, state universities or educational institutions or foundations; members of Congress and officials thereof classified as Grade ’27’ and up under the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989; members of the judiciary; chairmen and members of Constitutional Commissions; and all other national and local officials classified as Grade ’27’ and higher under the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989. The Sandiganbayan has exclusive appellate jurisdiction over final judgments, resolutions or orders of regional trial courts whether in the exercise of their own original jurisdiction or of their appellate jurisdiction in cases involving the same offenses against other public officers and employees and those classified as below Grade ‘27’ under the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989.
It was also the 1973 Constitution which created the independent Commission on Audit and Civil Service Commission, which were retained by the 1987 Constitution. The Commission on Audit is charged with the examination, audit and settlement of all accounts pertaining to public funds, property and expenditures. Under the 1935 Constitution, it was the General Auditing Office under the direct control and supervision of the Auditor General. The Civil Service Commission, the central personnel agency of the Government, is tasked to establish a career service and adopt measures to promote morale, efficiency, integrity, responsiveness, progressiveness and courtesy in the civil service; strengthen the merit and reward system; and integrate all human resources development programs for all levels and ranks, and institutionalize a management climate conducive to public accountability. With the advent of the 1987 Constitution, a new OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN was created, mandated as protector of the people to act promptly on complaints filed in any form or manner against public officials or employees of the government or any subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or controlled corporations.
Accordingly, Republic Act No. 6770 was enacted by Congress in 1989, providing for the functional and structural organization of said Office and specifying its powers. “As in the previous laws on the Ombudsman, RA 6770 gave the present Ombudsman not only the duty to receive and relay the people’s grievances, but also the duty to investigate and prosecute for and in their behalf, civil, criminal and administrative offenses committed by government officers and employees as embodied in Sections 15 and 11 of the law.” President Corazon Aquino did not create a presidential anti-graft body but organized the President’s Committee on Public Ethics and Accountability, a committee of cabinet officials, to tackle corruption by management actions aimed at increasing its risks and decreasing its benefits, and decentralizing graft-busting. President Fidel Ramos created the Presidential Commission against Graft and Corruption tasked to investigate presidential appointees charged with graft and corruption, which was allowed by President Joseph Estrada to continue functioning during his brief administration, and by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
On June 11, 1997, the Ombudsman and the Heads of the Civil Service Commission, theCommission on Audit, the Presidential Commission Against Graft and Corruption and the National Bureau of Investigation formed an alliance which they called the Inter-Agency Anti-Graft Coordinating Council and executed a Memorandum of Agreement binding themselves and their respective agencies, within the limits of their powers, to (a) coordinate with one another and share information in the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of corruption; (b) undertake inter-agency skills training programs; and (c) promote inter-agency conferences for the exchange of ideas, discussion of common issues and problems on specific cases and pursuing a concerted front in the drive against corruption. As early as July 14, 1887, the Philippines already had a penal code, which was revised in December 8, 1930 and became the Revised Penal Code through Act 3815, as amended, which took effect on January 1, 1932, and which includes among those felonies defined and penalized therein crimes committed by public officers and employees.
In 1959, Republic Act No. 1379 (An Act Declaring Forfeiture in Favor of the State Any Property Found to Have Been Unlawfully Acquired by Any Public Officer or Employee and Providing for the Proceedings Therefor) was passed as what might be called the first specific anti-graft law in the Country, followed by the enactment in 1960 of Republic Act No. 3019 (The Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act), which defines and penalizes specific acts and omissions of public officers as corrupt practices. In 1962, Republic Act No. 3456 was passed, amended by Republic Act No. 4177 in 1965, requiring heads of government agencies and entities to organize Internal Audit Services in their respective agencies that shall assist in achieving an efficient and effective fiscal administration and performance of agency affairs and functions.
In 1972, President Ferdinand Marcos enacted P.D. 46 making it punishable for any person to give and for public officers to receive any gift, including the throwing of parties or entertainments in honor of the official or employee or his immediate relatives, when such gift, present, valuable thing or entertainment is given by reason of his official position, followed in 1975 by P.D. 749 granting givers of bribes and other gifts, as well as their accomplices, immunity from prosecution in bribery and other graft cases, including violations of Section 345 of the Internal Revenue Code and Section 3604 of the Tariff and Customs Code, who voluntarily gives information that leads to, and testifies in, such cases. It was also during the Marcos era that the Civil Service Act was enacted through P.D.807. In 1989, aside from R.A. 6770 (Ombudsman Act) already mentioned above, Congress passed R.A. 6713 establishing Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees. Congress also passed R.A. 7080 in 1991, defining and penalizing Plunder; R.A. 9160 in 2001, the Anti-Money Laundering Act through which the Anti–Money Laundering Council was created; R.A. 9184 in 2003, the Government Procurement Reform Act; and R.A. 9485 in 2007, the Anti-Red Tape Act. Unmitigated Losses to Corruption:
It is clear, therefore, that the Philippines has more than enough laws to check the commission of graft and corruption at any of the stages of Ursal’s cycle. In fact, if one looks closely at the anti-corruption laws intended to prevent the occurrence, and to punish the commission, of corruption, all the types of corruption that Coronel and Ursal came up with in their studies are well covered. As Moratalla said, the Country has a “comprehensive set of laws that may have ascertained (sic) all the possible instances of graft and corruption that can be devised. The anti-corruption agencies have been given ample powers to identify and punish offenders.” However, corruption continues to assault the Country with unmitigated ferocity and its cost to the Government is astronomical.
The World Bank (2000) and the Ombudsman (1997) said that the Philippine Government was losing $2 billion a year or a whopping $48 billion in the last twenty years due to corruption. Batalla (2000) computed the losses to corruption from the period 1995-2000 and found that the average national loss due to corruption is 3.8 percent of the GNP, amounting to 74 billion pesos in 1995 to a ballooning 130 billion pesos in 2000, or a total for the six (6) year period of P609 billion. 20 to 30 percent of the Philippines’ national budget is lost to graft and corruption each year (Batalla, 2000; Asiaweek, 2002). The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported on July 10, 1999 that the Government lost P1.4 trillion and continued to lose P100 million daily since the Office of the Ombudsman began investigating corruption in 1988. 45 percent of the Countryside Development Fund is pocketed by members of the Congress. Kickbacks from public work projects make up, on average, 30 percent of project cost (Enriquez, 1998).
In the purchase of medicines, books, magazines and other instructional materials, the kickbacks are distributed at 40 percent to supplier, 5 percent to congressional aide, 10 percent to the head of the implementing agency, and 45 percent to legislators. In public works projects, the kickbacks that go to project implementation are 64 percent: 16 percent to the legislator; 10 percent to the provincial, city or municipal engineer; 7 percent to the mayor; and 3 percent to the Barangay Captain (Parreño, 1998). At least 12 to 20 percent of the funds allotted for building artesian wells, bridges and roads are given to congressmen. Commissions on public works ran up to an average of 30 percent of the project cost (Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, 2001). Even the Medicare, education and rice importation are not spared. The National Health Insurance Program continues to lose as much as P300 million a year to fraudulent claims, including those involving ghost patients, which is 4 percent of the P6.8 billion payments for Medicare claims in 2000 (Philippine Health Report 2001). About 65 percent of textbook funds are reserved as bribe money.
The range of bribery runs from 20 percent to 65 percent. Senators Loren Legarda and Francis Escudero said that, early this year, the Government may have lost P5.7 billion to P13.1 billion to kickbacks in the importation of 1.5 million tons of rice from Vietnam, an amount which is more than enough to pay for the P4.5 billion budget for farm-to-market roads and P3.3 billion allocated for the purchase of fertilizers in 2009. The Commission on Audit reported in 1998 that corruption costs the Government about 2 billion pesos every year. Corruption cuts government revenue by 30 percent (Valenzuela, 2001). Political corruption is the use of power by government officials for illegitimate private gain. Misuse of government power for other purposes, such as repression of political opponents and general police brutality, is not considered political corruption. Neither are illegal acts by private persons or corporations not directly involved with the government. An illegal act by an officeholder constitutes political corruption only if the act is directly related to their official duties, is done undercolor of law or involves trading in influence.
Forms of corruption vary, but include bribery, extortion, cronyism, nepotism, patronage, graft, and embezzlement. Corruption may facilitate criminal enterprise such as drug trafficking, money laundering, and human trafficking, though is not restricted to these activities.The activities that constitute illegal corruption differ depending on the country or jurisdiction. For instance, some political funding practices that are legal in one place may be illegal in another. In some cases, government officials have broad or ill-defined powers, which make it difficult to distinguish between legal and illegal actions. Worldwide, bribery alone is estimated to involve over 1 trillion US dollars annually. A state of unrestrained political corruption is known as a kleptocracy, literally meaning “rule by thieves”. Some forms of corruption—-now called “institutional corruption”—-are distinguished from bribery and other kinds of obvious personal gain. Campaign contributions are the prime example. Even when they are legal, and do not constitute a quid pro quo, they have a tendency to bias the process in favor of special interests, and undermine public confidence in the political institution.
They corrupt the institution without individual members being corrupt themselves. A similar problem of corruption arises in any institution that depends on financial support from people who have interests that may conflict with the primary purpose of the institution. A bribe is a payment given personally to a government official in exchange of his use of official powers. Bribery requires two participants: one to give the bribe, and one to take it. Either may initiate the corrupt offering; for example, a customs official may demand bribes to let through allowed (or disallowed) goods, or a smuggler might offer bribes to gain passage. In some countries the culture of corruption extends to every aspect of public life, making it extremely difficult for individuals to stay in business without resorting to bribes. Bribes may be demanded in order for an official to do something he is already paid to do. They may also be demanded in order to bypass laws and regulations. In addition to using bribery for private financial gain, they are also used to intentionally and maliciously cause harm to another (i.e. no financial incentive).
In some developing nations, up to half of the population has paid bribes during the past 12 months. In recent years, efforts have been made by the international community to encourage countries to dissociate and incriminate as separate offences, active and passive bribery. Active bribery can be defined for instance as the promising, offering or giving by any person, directly or indirectly, of any undue advantage [to any public official], for himself or herself or for anyone else, for him or her to act or refrain from acting in the exercise of his or her functions. (article 2 of the Criminal Law Convention on Corruption (ETS 173) of the Council of Europe). Passive bribery can be defined as the request or receipt [by any public official], directly or indirectly, of any undue advantage, for himself or herself or for anyone else, or the acceptance of an offer or a promise of such an advantage, to act or refrain from acting in the exercise of his or her functions (article 3 of the Criminal Law Convention on Corruption (ETS 173)).
The reason for this dissociation is to make the early steps (offering, promising, requesting an advantage) of a corrupt deal already an offence and, thus, to give a clear signal (from a criminal policy point of view) that bribery is not acceptable. Furthermore, such a dissociation makes the prosecution of bribery offences easier since it can be very difficult to prove that two parties (the bribe-giver and the bribe-taker) have formally agreed upon a corrupt deal. In addition, there is often no such formal deal but only a mutual understanding, for instance when it is common knowledge in a municipality that to obtain a building permit one has to pay a “fee” to the decision maker to obtain a favourable decision. A working definition of corruption is also provided as follows in article 3 of the Civil Law Convention on Corruption (ETS 174): For the purpose of this Convention, “corruption” means requesting, offering, giving or accepting, directly or indirectly, a bribe or any other undue advantage or prospect thereof, which distorts the proper performance of any duty or behavior required of the recipient of the bribe, the undue advantage or the prospect thereof. Most of us have an idea of what corruption is. But we don’t necessarily share the same idea. That is why we need to ask the question about what corruption is.
For example, do you believe giving money to speed up the processing of an application is corruption? Do you think awarding contracts to those who gave large campaign contributions is corruption? Do you think bribing a doctor to ensure your mother gets the medicine she needs is corruption? Do you think using government construction equipment to build an addition on one’s house is corruption? Corruption is not just the clearly “bad” cases of government officials skimming off money for their own benefit. It includes cases where the systems don’t work well, and ordinary people are left in a bind, needing to give a bribe for the medicine or the licenses they need. All of the above are examples of public corruption.They all involve the misuse of public office for private gain. In other words, they involve a government official benefiting at the expense of the taxpayer or at the expense of the average person who comes into contact with the government. By contrast, private corruption is between individuals in the private sector, such as the Mafia extorting money from a local business. This course deals primarily with public corruption. Because of this, infant mortality rates are also about three times higher and literacy rates are about 25 percentage points lower in high corruption countries than in countries with low to medium levels of corruption.
In addition, corruption is unfair and allows those with money or connections to bend the law or government Even if you don’t come into direct contact with corruption, corruption affects you. Corruption reduces the overall wealth in a country since it can discourage businesses from operating in such a corrupt setting. In countries with high levels of corruption, for example, average income is about three times lower than in less corrupt countries (the difference between, say, Ukraine and the Czech Republic, Indonesia and South Korea, Nicaragua and El Salvador, or Chad and Namibia). Corruption also reduces the amount of moneythe government has to pay good workers and purchase supplies, such as books and medicine. It distorts the way the government uses its money, too. The result is that schools, health clinics, roads, sewer systems, police forces, and many other services that governments provide are worse than they would otherwise be. In addition, corruption is unfair and allows those with money or connections to bend the law or government rules in their favor. They can pay off judges, for example, or divert scarce drinking water to their land.
For these reasons, corruption harms the environment and undermines trust in government. Corruption is not only a western concept. In any society,there is a difference between what happens above board and what is under the table, of what is accepted and what causes outrage. Although different societies have their own notions of corruption, here are four questions to help determine what is right: • Transparency: Do I mind if others know or the press reports on what I do? • Accountability: Do I report my actions to others? Do they hold me to standards? • Reciprocity: Would I feel hurt if others did the same thing? • Generalization: Would it harm society if everybody did the same thing?
Gift giving in many village traditions, for example, is not considered corruption as the transaction is transparent and not secret; the scale is modest, not life-changing; the benefits are usually shared with the community, for example the council of elders; and the public rights are not violated. Bribery: An offer of money or favors to influence a public official. Nepotism: Favoritism shown by public officials to relatives or close friends. Fraud: Cheating the government through deceit. Embezzlement: Stealing money or other government property. Administrative Corruption: Corruption that alters the implementation of policies, such as getting a license even if you don’t qualify for it Political Corruption: Corruption that influences the formulation of laws, regulations, and policies, such as revoking all licenses, and gaining the sole right to operate the beer or gas monopoly. Grand Corruption: Corruption involving substantial amounts of money and usually high-level officials. Petty Corruption: Corruption involving smaller sums and typically more junior officials. Etymology
The word corrupt (Middle English, from Latin corruptus, past participle of corrumpere, to abuse or destroy : com-, intensive pref. andrumpere, to break) when used as an adjective literally means “utterly broken”. The Republic of the Philippines suffers from widespread corruption. Means of corruption include graft, bribery, embezzlement, backdoor deals, nepotism, patronage. Corruption levels
According to a World Bank study in 2008, corruption in the Philippines is considered to be the worst among East Asia’s leading economies and the country has sunk even lower among those seen to be lagging in governance reforms. The 2009 Corruption Perceptions Index published by global watchdog Transparency International, showed that the situation in the country had improved slightly but still remained serious. The Philippines ranked 139th among 180 countries included in the index, up from its previous 141st ranking in 2008. The nation scored 2.4 in the TI index, compared to 2.3 in 2008, which ranked it equal to Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Baltic state of Belarus. Corruption Improvements
As of 2012, the Philippines came in at 105 with a 3.4 CPI in Transparency International’s list that ranks 176 (tied with Algeria, Armenia, Bolivia, Gambia, Kosovo, Mali, and Mexico), countries and territories based on how corrupt their public sector is perceived to be. This is better than the Philippines’ 129th out of 178 ranking in 2011 with a 2.6 CPI, in Transparency International’s list. The CPI score indicates the perceived level of public sector corruption on a scale of 0 – 10, where 0 means that a country is perceived as highly corrupt and 10 means that a country is perceived as very clean. Transparency International-Philippines said some of the factors that contributed to the Philippines’ (2.6) slight jump are the improvement in government service, and cutting red tape. The group believes that the government’s efforts to prosecute former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo may positively affect the perception on corruption as this shows the government means business. Statistical evaluations
The Philippine political arena, unlike other democracies, is mainly arranged and operated by families or alliances of families, rather than organised around the voting for political parties. PHILIPPINES REMAINS AS ONE OF THE MOST CORRUPT COUNTRY – SURVEY By Leila B. Salaverria
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—The Philippines is still perceived as one of the most corrupt countries in the world, getting a score of 34 on a scale of 1 to 100 with 100 being very clean, according to the latest Corruption Perceptions Index of Transparency International. But the Philippines has at least outranked its neighbors Vietnam,Indonesia and Bangladesh, which all fared better than the country in the previous CPI, said TI, a civil society organization that promotes transparency and accountability. Indonesia scored 32, Vietnam 31 and Bangladesh 26. The top five countries perceived to be very clean were Denmark, Finland, New Zealand, Sweden and Singapore, while the five viewed as very corrupt were Somalia, North Korea, Afghanistan, Sudan and Myanmar. TI-Philippines President Rosalinda Tirona said the 2012 CPI, which covered data gathered between December 2010 and September 2012, showed that the Philippines has to take more action to improve how things are done in the country. One of these actions is the “immediate” passage of the freedom of information bill (FOI), Tirona said. “This means we still have to do a lot more.
TI-Philippines is here to show the Filipino people we can do many more things to fight corruption,” Tirona said in a briefing Wednesday. “We must go beyond this ranking and think of what we can do,” she added. Ranking 105th in the latest CPI, the Philippines belonged to two-thirds of the 176 countries with scores below 50, according to TI. But TI-Philippines said the results of the 2012 CPI could not be compared with the results of the previous CPI because the latest index used a new methodology that changed the scoring system. In the previous CPI, countries were scored 1 to 10, but in the latest survey, the scores ranged from 1 to 100. This has an effect on the ranking, TI-Philippines noted. The new methodology also used a new formula that would allow for a more accurate comparison of the changes in the countries’ scores from year to year, but this would only begin with the 2012 CPI. “Therefore, 2012 CPI cannot be compared with all the previous CPI including that of 2011,” TI-Philippines said. In 2011, the Philippines was No. 129 on the list, which ranked 178 countries. In 2010, it was No. 134.
TI-Philippines founder Dolores Español said there were certain actions of the Aquino administration that helped change public perception in the country. These were the impeachment trial, the declaration of the statements of assets, liabilities and net worth, the transparent process of replacing dismissed Chief Justice Renato Corona, the first year of Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, and the general openness of the administration in its quest for a transparent government, Español said. “However, there is still much to be done for it not to remain purely in the change of perception but in societal transformation that is truly tangible,” she said in a statement. In pushing for the FOI passage, TI-Philippines said the measure had been described in the Philippine Development Plan as the “cornerstone of transparent and accountable governance.” The FOI has faced delays in Congress, however. In the House of Representatives, it has yet to be subjected to plenary debates because it still has to go through another round of approval at the committee level.
But the House has only six remaining session days this year. TI-Philippines said other actions that could be done include the speedy resolution of corruption cases, especially those involving the big fish; the enactment of a whistle-blower protection law and a law on campaign finance reform to regulate campaign contributions; and the adoption of a comprehensive anti-corruption program. TI chairperson Huguette Labelle said in a statement that based on the 2012 CPI, corruption still continues to ravage many societies. “Governments need to integrate anti-corruption actions into all public decision-making.
Priorities include better rules on lobbying and political financing, making public spending and contracting more transparent, and making public bodies more accountable to people,” Labelle said. TI Managing Director Cobus de Swardt said in the same statement that the leading economies must lead by example and that they should see to it that their institutions are fully transparent and their leaders held accountable, De Swardt said. Graft and corruption in the Philippines has long been a topic of concern for those interested in improving the conditions in the area. The corruption of government officials and the failure of governmental leaders to use their position of power wisely has led to ongoing financial hardship throughout the nation and restricted its economic growth and cultural development.Since its inception, the Philippines has been known as an area suffering from such severe corruption, with conditions run so afoul, that experts began describing it as a “kleptocracy.”
A kleptocracy is a government that suffers from kleptomania, or from which consistently and continuously robs its citizens because of corruption in its upper ranks.The origin of graft and corruption stems from colonial times, when colonial governments were organized for the purposes of plunder- an organizational scheme which persists today. Today it is common for governmental officials to embezzle tax dollars in order to accumulate personal wealth. In an independent evaluation of the countries graft and corruption practices by Transparency International ‘s Perception interest, the Philippines were rated 2.6 on a corruption scale of one to ten, where one was most corrupt and ten was least corrupt. Many activists in the Philippines urge fellow citizens to fight corruption and discontinue simple acquiescence with corrupt officials, saying that the people who are suffering have the responsibility to change the way things are done from a grass-roots level.
Efforts to check graft and corruption have been underway for decades, yet the situation has not achieved a functional state. Innumerable laws defining plunder, establishing punishments for corrupt officials, creating independent third-party accountability agencies, in addition to increased international attention in recent years, have all contributed to some amendments of conduct and reformation of behavior, however the country still loses billions of dollars of tax revenue each year to transactions relating to graft and corruption. The Philippines has a history of corruption, and virtually all governments throughout the country’s history have struggled with the problem. Corruption in the Philippines is characterised by a combination of societal factors, institutional factors and an incentives system that contributes to corruption. Many companies identify corruption as the most problematic factor for doing business in the country, and corruption is often encountered when interacting with public officials. Companies should also be aware that illegal donations to political parties and bribery in order to influence policy-making are common types of private sector corruption.
Positive developments in relation to corruption and investment: * The government has shown commitment to e-governance in an attempt to increase transparency and to stamp out much of the corruption caused by face-to-face interactions with public officials. * In March 2011, President Aquino approved the Philippine Development Plan for 2011-2016. The overarching theme of the Plan is good governance and anti-corruption while achieving inclusive growth, which would create substantial employment opportunities as well as reduce poverty. * In May 2011, the House of Representatives committee on justice passed the proposed Whistleblowers’ Act, which seeks to protect whistleblowers from all forms of retaliatory actions. * In January 2012, President Aquino approved the Good Governance and Anti-Corruption Cluster (GGAC) plan for 2012-2016, which includes measures aiming to promote transparency and accountability in government operations. * CoST Philippines was established in September 2008 in collaboration with the Construction Sector Transparency Initiative (CoST), which aims at enhancing transparency and accountability in the construction sector, focusing specifically on public disclosure of information. After three-years as a pilot country, CoST Philippines was officially launched to the public in 2010. Risks of corruption:
* Corruption is said to take place at all levels of the government, but it is more rampant among high-level civil servants. * It is reportedly common for civil servants to attempt to supplement their relatively low salaries by extracting bribes, facilitated by the country’s complex, sometimes contradictory regulatory regime. * Companies generally have little confidence in the Philippine judicial system. The main reasons are: the allegedly incompetent court personnel, corruption and long delays of court cases Conclusion
The Philippines has unleashed many weapons against irresponsible behavior in the government. It has a comprehensive set of laws that may have ascertained all the possible instances of graft and corruption that can be devised. The anticorruption agencies have been given ample powers to identify and punish offenders. They recognize the burden of power, with special agencies to give priority to catching the “big fish” and grave offences, over the acts of lower ranking personnel. They started on their own to coordinate with each other for greater over-all effectiveness. They approach corruption in both a preventive and punitive way. They recognize that the task is not only with the government, and have enlisted civil society in the struggle. For their part, citizens have also volunteered, in cooperation with state agencies or by themselves, in fighting corruption. On the whole, the Philippine approach has used democratic means, relying on due process, transparent procedures, and volition in effecting many of its aspirations. Yet corruption continues. What else needs to be done? A. Re-examination of Existing Laws
The Philippines does not need any more laws against corruption. If anything, what it needs is a re-examination of anticorruption laws not only to remove duplication, but also to ensure that those existing are accepted by the populace and enforceable by the anti-corruption agencies. We can only cite a few areas for further study. There are at present some provisions that, in their strictness, may encourage their breach: (i) The Anti-gift Decree has never been implemented, but it can conceivably be used against a completely innocent, generous person, who (being a devout Christian) cannot help but give gifts on Christmas day, an act sanctioned by PD 46 and ignored by almost everybody immersed in Philippine culture. (ii) The statement of assets and liabilities, a simple but potentially strong mechanism to find unexplained wealth, is submitted yearly by all public officials, but no one ever studies them. In any case, any well-paid accountant can hide unexplained wealth, and so the only people potentially at risk are civil servants that cannot afford to have others write their statements. (iii) Other provisions may work against getting good people in government, for example, by the requirement for divestment. This approach to possible conflicts of interest will be met by well-qualified people entering into the highest reaches of the state apparatus.
The current divestment procedure may be too harsh, since it could effectively mean that no top industrialist for instance can be Secretary of Trade and Industry, and no top banker may be Central Bank Governor. That would be denying the government valuable human resources. A possible alternative is to put more trust in transparency and the press (which requires an amendment of existing law). When a president chooses a person who shows reluctance because of the divestment requirement, exemption must be made for that person, provided that he or she discloses in detail and publicly all personal interests that have public implications.
This could mean that the citizenry could keep track of the development of the relevant businesses and industries, while a valued member is in publicoffice. Conversely, the problem of conflict of interest must be tackled head on by removing persons whose personal interest prospered while they were in office. This is amply provided for in RA 3019 and RA 6713, even without the divestment requirement. (iv) The schedule of penalties may also be looked into. In some cases the penalty may be too low, e.g, the maximum imprisonment for corruption under RA 3019 is 15 years. In others, it may be too high, e.g, the sole penalty for grave misconduct on first offence is dismissal from the service. Extreme penalties do not encourage prosecution of offences, even when they are blatant, because of the cultural trait of “sayang” (waste of time) for those who will merit only low penalties and “awa” (pity) for those who will be hit by harsh punishment.
The Philippines has an impressive number of laws to tackle practically all cases requiring fast actions. However, enforcement of these laws leaves much to be desired. The retention of officials whom the President’s anti-graft agency itself recommended to be removed suggests a lack of political will, and the priority of partisanship over the public interest. This would have provided an occasion for articulating the Administration’s ethical vision, catching a big fish, and warning everyone that the leadership means business. The people expect not only equal enforcement of the law, but even more strictness on persons perceived to be in the President’s inner circle. Decisiveness would also be perceived if the public is informed of a clear connection between the official’s misdeed and his/her removal. Part of the popular dissatisfaction with the conduct of accountability is the lack of closure of cases. The number of investigations that were not finished, or have “softer” findings and conclusions when no longer laboring under the public eye, does not increase public confidence in the anti-corruption programs. C. Leadership in the Anticorruption Drive
Leadership of the organizations primarily focused on fighting corruption requires higher qualifications than what is normally demanded. This applies particularly to the Ombudsman and to the heads of other agencies specifically created for this purpose. The very concept of an Ombudsman requires a person of high integrity whose very presence provokes respect and rectitude. The Philippines has not been blessed with the appointment of such persons to this office. Instead, they have been controversial, such that they raised questions about the Office, itself not only about its head. The President who appoints the Ombudsman should be cognizant of the high expectations of the people to bring to the Ombudsman’s office persons known for their ethical role modeling, non-partisanship, and good judgement. D. More Resources for Enhancing
Resources for enhancing accountability and attacking corruption must be provided. This is an investment that will pay off in the long run. Guardians must be supported in their programs and given incentives not to stray from accountability. The funds, personnel, technology, and other resources of the Ombudsman and the Sandiganbayan must allow them to keep in step with the corrupt they are trying to catch. The personal income of such officials should be competitive with the private sector, subject to the conscientious performance of their duties. Their organizations should be provided with the necessary equipment high-tech devices like hidden cameras, etc and mundane matters such as paper clips, envelopes, filing cabinets as is needed in their work.
Incumbents should be imbued with a sense of mission early, via a well-planned orientation program, and keep them going with peer group and leadership support, and a hotline for counseling on the problems they meet. Civil servants who perform exceptionally well should be recognized. The Civil Service Commission program to this effect is a step in the right direction, but it honors too few people. The increase of salaries across the board through the Salary Standardization Law is a way to keep up with inflation, but it has had the pernicious effect of eating up any resources that may be given competitively. Merit increases and promotion can signal that an agency recognizes that one official is doing better work than the others are. Moral Reform
Having role models, a code of ethics and value formation exercises speak of a desire for moral reform within the government. While cultures cannot be changed overnight, support for value changes must be developed through a system of rewards and punishments that becomes regularized in standard operating procedures. Also, the meting out of positive and negative strokes must be swift but fair, and even-handed. Value development seminars should be case-oriented, thought provoking, and able to encourage innovative behavior, while raising alarm about continued violations. J. Role of the People
There is a need for popular involvement in ethics and accountability. Paying the proper taxes, obeying regulations, being well informed about government services – these are only the first steps in moving to a disciplined but democratic society. In addition, support for politicians who promote causes rather than just their charm and personality would also make the line of accountability clearer. The development of parties with coherent Plat forms should then be a focus of people’s participation, to tie up with the reforms suggested above. These are all in addition to the encouragement of NGOs that are non-partisan in exposing corruption and bringing violators to justice. The start of many of these measures has already been made. They are in tune with democratic principles, as well as the culture. One hopes that many more financial, human and moral resources will be placed at the service of accountability in the country. Indeed to sum it all up we need to be alert and be responsible and disciplined enough to act against corruption and to inhibit others to do it freely without prior punishment and further more without much ado, we should have strict litigations in order to remove corruption in our governance, environment and the whole wide world as possible as we can be.
Philippine Daily Inquirer article by Leila B. Salaverria
Government and You Book by Thomas Aquinas
The Philippine Herald article by Perfecto Calintayag
Corruption at Its Finest book by: Welmand Dela Riva
Philippine Corruption At Large book by Fernandino Dela Cruz