Survey: Bribing going out of style | Inquirer News

Survey: Bribing going out of style

By: - Reporter / @cynchdbINQ
/ 01:49 AM November 26, 2014

guyitoMANILA, Philippines–Believe it or not but fewer Filipino families now give bribes or “grease money” to government officials due to growing public intolerance toward corruption.

This is according to the 2013 National Household Survey on Experience with Corruption in the Philippines that was commissioned by the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB).

The survey, which polled 10,864 respondent-families representing 21.9 million families nationwide, was a rider to the 2013 Annual Poverty Indicators Survey conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority.


The survey measured respondents’ actual experiences in small-scale corruption, particularly in bribery or facilitation money.


It also identified the public services vulnerable to corruption and touched on whether the bribes were solicited by the receiver (demand-driven), or initiated by the giver (supply-driven).

Usually solicited

Officials from government agencies involved in processing registry documents and licenses were more likely to solicit bribes compared with those offering other types of service, according to the survey.

Registry documents include civil registry and property registration, while permits, clearances and licenses include mayor’s permits, building permits, sanitary permits, and driver’s licenses, it said.

According to the survey, bribes were usually solicited by corrupt government officials rather than initiated by the giver.

2010 survey


One out of 20 families (5 percent) that had at least one transaction with a government office claimed to have been asked for bribe or grease money. The same number of families gave bribes when asked by a government official or employee.

The OMB said these showed a decline from the 2010 survey, which showed that about two out of 20 families—or 10 percent—admitted to giving bribes.

The survey also showed that poor families do not only pay a higher price for corruption because of the basic services denied them due to government funds lost to corruption.

It also showed that incidences of bribe initiation were practiced more by families seeking basic social services, compared with families transacting other services, such as securing registry documents and licenses, accessing justice, and paying taxes and duties.

Less than one out of 20 families (4.5 percent) admitted giving bribes to avail of social services. This was slightly higher than the 4.1 percent reported in 2010.

Social services

The social services listed in the survey included education, healthcare, social security, employment, livelihood and subsidies.

Families which availed themselves of such types of government social services usually belonged to the lower income stratum.

The report also surmised that bribes were given by lower income families to get an assurance that they would receive the services they needed.

More conscious

On the other hand, there was a decrease in the number of families that gave “grease money” to avail of other government services—from 6.1 percent in 2010 to 0.5 percent in 2013 for payment of taxes and duties; 9.9 percent to 2.3 percent for access to justice; and 10.3 percent to 2.1 percent for securing registry documents and licenses.

The OMB said the 2013 survey was consistent with the results of the 2013 Global Corruption Barometer of Transparency International, which noted a decrease in bribe incidence in the Philippines from 16 percent in 2010 to 12 percent in 2013.

The report said the public was becoming more conscious of the ill effects of corruption on individuals, especially the poor, and on the entire society.

Also, more families that gave bribes for government services did so at the behest of government officials, hence, fewer families initiated the illegal practice.

More families accessing the justice system gave in to solicited bribery, indicating that law enforcers, public defenders and court officials can exert more influence on families to submit to the practice.

Serious concern

“The fact that officials expected to protect individuals from injustice are among the perpetrators of corruption invites serious concern,” the survey said.

Compared with the 2010 survey, the proportion of families that gave bribes or “grease money” upon solicitation increased in all four types of services in 2013.

The highest increases were among families accessing justice followed by those securing registry documents and licenses.

The OMB also noted a seeming shift in bribery practice—from supply-driven to demand-driven.

In 2010, bribery was initiated by the givers (three out of four families) while in 2013, government officials solicited bribes (seven out of 10).

The survey said the decline in the number of families willing to give bribes may have emboldened corrupt officials to ask for “grease money.”

On the reasons cited for nonreporting of solicited bribes, 59 percent of respondents believed the incident was not worth reporting or that the amount was too small to bother with. Twenty-four percent cited fear of reprisal and 21 percent said they lacked time to report it.


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TAGS: bribery, bribes, bribing, corruption, Ombudsman, Philippines, survey

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