(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Thursday, 28 May, 2020) Easterlies affecting Mindanao. Mindanao will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms due to Easterlies. Light winds from the Southeast to Variable with slight seas.

Thursday, January 30, 2020


Drop in corruption index motivation for PH to improve: PCOO

By Azer Parrocha  

MANILA -- Communications Secretary Martin Andanar on Tuesday said the Philippines' lower ranking in the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) last year will serve as a motivation for the government to “improve” in its efforts to curb corruption.

Andanar made this comment after the Philippines fell by 14 notches in the 2019 CPI, ranking 113th out of 180 countries from 99th in 2018.

The Philippines got a score of 34 on a scale of zero to 100, where zero is "highly corrupt" and 100 is "very clean".

“We may have hit a roadblock on our anti-corruption drive, as the dealing with these offenses become tougher and require bolder actions…However, we will use this as a motivation for us to further improve the initiatives in our fight against corruption,” Andanar said in a statement.

Andanar also dismissed a Jan. 24 article published by American business magazine Forbes which claims the Philippines is now “more corrupt” under the Duterte administration as “malicious, poorly-researched, and distorted”.

He further said the article was meant to discredit and undermine the efforts and initiatives of the Duterte administration in curbing corruption.

The Forbes’ article titled “The Philippines is getting a more corrupt and less democratic state under President Rodrigo Duterte” cited the Philippine ranking in the CPI.

It claimed that corruption and political oppression in the Philippines stay “intact,” supposedly preventing the country from “developing modern infrastructure, attracting foreign capital, lowering unemployment, sustain(ing) economic growth, and escap(ing) poverty.”

Contrary to the report, Andanar said the Duterte administration has placed several mechanisms and initiatives to curb corruption, including the creation of bodies such as the Freedom of Information (FOI) Office, Anti-Red Tape Authority, and Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission, among others.

He said Duterte has also ordered investigations and suspensions of government personnel linked to anomalous acts, and bureaucratic reshuffle and abolishment if needed.

Citing other rankings, Andanar said the Philippines has improved and placed 95th in the World Bank 2020 Ease of Doing Business and 3rd in CEO World 2019 Countries Best to Invest and Do Business.

He also pointed out that the country achieved a 4.5 percent unemployment rate in December 2019, the lowest on record since 2005 and lifted 5.9 million Filipinos out of poverty, as it dropped to a 14-year low in October.

The PCOO chief, meanwhile, reiterated that weeding out corruption remains one of the Duterte administration’s utmost priorities since it is also the root cause of the proliferation of illegal drugs and extreme poverty.

On Sunday, Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) chair Dante Jimenez also belied the Forbes article saying that contrary to the report, the President’s anti-corruption campaign has come to fruition.

Jimenez also said that in just three years since Duterte assumed office in 2016, the fight against corruption has become “very successful.”

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, for his part, admitted that there is a “struggle” to fight corruption because due process made the firing of crooked officials much more difficult.

Before firing corrupt officials, Panelo said there had to be enough evidence before charges are filed against them.

He also belied critics’ allegations that the administration’s fight against corruption is a failure. (PNA)