Report: RP very weak in governance, fight vs corruption

Published by rudy Date posted on May 5, 2011

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines was rated “very weak” in terms of governance and corruption in the 2010 Global Integrity Report released yesterday.

The overall Philippine classification in 2010 was 57 or “very weak,” a downgrade from the 2008 overall score of 71 or “moderate.”

The country was rated “weak” (64) in the category “Anti-Corruption Legal Framework, Judicial Impartiality and Law Enforcement Professionalism” and the “Rule of Law.” This included the sub-categories “Anti-Corruption Law” (89 or strong); “Anti-Corruption Agency or Equivalent Mechanisms” (53 or very weak); “Judicial Independence, Fairness, and Citizen Access to Justice” (62 or weak); “Law Enforcement: Conflicts of Interest Safeguards and Professionalism” (52 or very weak).

The country scored 53 (very weak) in the category “Government conflicts of interest safeguard and checks and balances” (53 or very weak) but rated 71 or “moderate” on “Budget Process Oversight and Transparency.”

Based in Washington D.C., Global Integrity is a leading international non-profit organization that tracks governance and corruption trends around the world.

“While anti-corruption legislation is very strong, the anti-corruption agency does not have the ability to effectively deliver on its remit,” the group said.

The latest Global Integrity Report also showed that the Philippines is “very weak” in providing the public access to government information, scoring only 42 on a scale of 0 to 100.

The Philippines obtained a rating of 57 (very weak) in the category “Government Oversight and Controls.” It included the following subcategories: “National Ombudsman” (45 or very weak); “Supreme Audit Institution” (57 or very weak); “Taxes and Customs: Fairness and Capacity” (50 or very weak); “Oversight of State-Owned Enterprises” (78 or Moderate); and “Business Licensing and Regulation” (54 or very weak).

The country scored high in “Public Administration and Professionalism,” 71 or “moderate,” but received a very weak score of 58 on the sub-category “Civil Service: Conflicts of Interest Safeguards and Political Independence.”

It scored 67 (weak) on “Whistle-blowing Protections;” 95 (very strong) on “Government Procurement: Transparency, Fairness, and Conflicts of Interest Safeguards;” 63 (weak) on “Privatization of Public Administrative Functions: Transparency, Fairness, and Conflicts of Interest Safeguards.”

“The testimonies of recent whistle-blowers reveal that there is a culture of omerta within the supreme audit institution, with whistle-blowers risking ostracism or physical harm,” the report said.

Omerta is defined as an written rule that prohibits speaking or divulging information about certain activities, especially the activities of a criminal organization.

The Philippines received a rating of 46 (very weak) on the “Elections” category. This included the subcategories “Voting and Party Formation” (61 or weak); “Election Integrity” (59 or very weak); and “Political Financing Transparency” (16 or very weak).

“Political financing is an area of weakness and the disclosure of political finance records is a particular concern,” the report said.

The overall score of the Philippines has improved, driven by a narrowing implementation gap.

The Philippines earned high scores in freedom of speech and media. The country has very solid procurement regulations, which seem to be implemented effectively.

Even though the country’s supreme audit institution is adequately resourced, citizens cannot access its reports, which brings to question its transparency and accountability function.

Political interference is rampant in the country’s insufficiently funded law enforcement agency.

The Global Integrity Report is the product of months of on-the-ground reporting and data gathering by a team of more than 150 in-country journalists and researchers who prepared close to a million words of text and more than 10,000 data points for their respective countries.

Global Integrity is a leading international non-profit organization that tracks governance and corruption trends around the world.  –Helen Flores (The Philippine Star)

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