PH drops to 115th place in global index on corruption perception | Inquirer News
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PH drops to 115th place in global index on corruption perception

/ 12:41 AM January 29, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — In the fight against corruption, the Philippines appeared to have failed to make an improvement insofar as perception of corruption in government is concerned, with a worldwide study placing the Philippines at the 115th spot out of 180 countries.

In the 2020 Corruption Perception Index of anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International, the Philippines retained its low score of 34 out 100 possible points, but slipped two notches down in the ranking from the previous year, with its “mostly stagnant” response and policies against corruption.

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The Philippines, in the 2019 corruption perception index, landed in the 113th spot from its previous rank at 99 in 2018 after sliding 14 notches.

In the 2020 study, the country tied for the 115th spot with Moldova, and was just below four countries — Bosnia and Herzegovina, Panama, Mongolia, North Macedonia — which all tied at the 111th spot.  It edged six other countries with the same mark at the 117th ranking, namely Egypt, Eswatini, Zambia, Nepal, Sierra Leone, and Ukraine.

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“With a score of 34, efforts to control corruption in the Philippines mostly appear stagnant since 2012.  The government’s response to COVID-19 has been characterized by abusive enforcement and major violations of human rights and media freedom,” Transparency International said.

“A lack of transparency in the allocation of resources – a practice positively associated with corruption – weakens the efficiency of crisis responses,” it added.

However, compared to its Asian neighbors, the Philippines outranked three other countries — Laos (134th), Myanmar (137th), Cambodia (160th), but remained below Thailand and Vietnam (tied at 104th), Indonesia (102nd), Timor-Leste (86th), Malaysia (57th), Brunei Darussalam (35th), and Singapore (3rd).

According to analysis from Transparency International researchers, corruption all around the world had an impact on how countries with the COVID-19 response, as inefficient processes have prevented governments from solving the health crisis.

“Corruption diverts funds from essential services such as healthcare, leaving countries around the world vulnerable and under-prepared to deal with public health crises,” Transparency International said.

“A lack of transparency in the allocation of resources – a practice positively associated with corruption – weakens the efficiency of crisis responses,” it added.

The organization further pointed out that poorly-performing countries tend to breach human rights and democratic norms in responding to the pandemic.

In a way, Transparency International’s data and observation — that countries perceived as corrupt perform badly in terms of pandemic response — corresponds to another set of data released by a separate organization on the same day — that of Lowy Institute.

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According to Lowy Institute, the Philippines ranks 79th out 98 countries, regarding their ability to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.  For example, Singapore which placed 13th on the Lowy Institute’s pandemic response ranking, was also way beyond the Philippines in the Corruption Perception Index.

The same goes for Malaysia, which was at the 16th mark on Lowy Institute’s record, and is at the 57th spot for the Corruption Perception Index.

However, not all marks equate to each other. Vietnam is second for the world’s best response to COVID-19, but it is just a few steps ahead of the Philippines; same case with Myanmar which is at 24th in the Lowy Institute ranking, but actually fares worse than the Philippines.

Transparency International noted that they were able to obtain the results of the Corruption Perception Index for 2020 by sourcing data from 12 different institutions.

“The CPI 2020 is calculated using 13 different data sources from 12 different institutions that capture perceptions of corruption within the past two years. These sources are described in detail in the accompanying source description document,” Transparency International said.

“This standardization is done by subtracting the mean of each source in the baseline year from each country score and then dividing by the standard deviation of that source in the baseline year. This subtraction and division using the baseline year parameters ensures that the CPI scores are comparable year on year since 2012,” it added.

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TAGS: corruption index, corruption perception, COVID Performance Index, COVID-19 pandemic, COVID-19 response, Lowy Institute, Philippines ranking, Transparency International
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