Philippines Corruption is No.1

Unlike in authoritarian countries like China and Vietnam, corruption has become politicized and is openly discussed in the media of Philippines.
The Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia and China are among the most corrupt Asian economies, according to results of a regional poll of expatriate businessmen released Monday. While Singapore and Hong Kong retained their rankings as the cleanest economies, the Political and Economic Risk Consultancy (PERC) said.
The annual survey covers only 13 economies in Asia and excludes other countries notorious for corruption, such as Myanmar and Bangladesh.
Some 1,400 expatriates were polled in January and February this year, PERC said.
Corruption remains a problem in the region despite huge economic progress made over the years, with governments generally lacking the political will to tackle the problem, the Hong Kong-based PERC said.
"The Philippines is a sad case when it comes to corruption," the consultancy said in a summary report made available to AFP.
The Philippine situation is "probably no worse than in places like Indonesia and Thailand" but corruption has become politicized and is openly discussed in the media, unlike in authoritarian countries like China and Vietnam, it said.
The Philippines scored 9.0 out of a possible 10 points under a grading system used by PERC under which zero is the best score and 10 the worst.
As in the 2007 survey, Thailand remained the second most corrupt economy after the Philippines with a score of 8.0 after the military, which seized power in a coup in 2006, was seen to have failed to tackle the problem.
"The kingdom’s economy has been marking time for two years while it sorts out political problems in which allegations of corruption figure prominently," said PERC.
Indonesia, which ranked behind Thailand with a score of 7.98, has made improvements under President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono but the perception of the civil service as one prone to graft remains strong, said PERC.
"International ratings agencies might have improved Indonesia’s foreign and domestic currency debt ratings recently, citing the government’s efforts to tackle corruption… however, the problem is still very serious," said PERC.
Corruption is also perceived to have worsened in Malaysia, which scored 6.37 in the survey, worse than last year’s grade of 6.25, but the country retained its number six ranking in the poll.
Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s failure to carry out his promise to fight graft was one of the key reasons his ruling coalition suffered its worst ever results during last Saturday’s elections, PERC said.
"A promise to fight corruption was the main campaign theme that won (Abdullah) a big increase in voter support in the last national elections (in 2004)," the consultancy said.
The pressure is now on Abdullah, who rejected pressure to step down despite the poll setback, to show he is serious about fighting corruption in his second term as prime minister, said PERC.
China’s score worsened to 7.98 from 6.29 last year with corruption seen to be as widespread as ever despite Beijing’s efforts to clamp down on it.
"The economy is growing so rapidly that even low-level officials are able to amass illicit fortunes.
"The penalties for getting caught might be draconian, but graft is so widespread and the potential rewards so great that people seem to be more than willing to take the risks."
Source: Global Nation fom AFP
Pic from Simon Oosterman

Now I come across this article and have added it for discussion reasons. Because its true that the openly discussed issue of corruption in the Philippines is a major one. Because its gone from people offended by it to people expecting it. Things such as the street lighting scandal, Legacy Group collapse aswell as a lot of expats being put off opening businesses here. If the corruption reduced even a little within the Philippines I could see the country changing a lot for the better. But the issue is that its now become expected and is seen everywhere. From the queue jumping for friends to immigration officials pulling people aside and offering an “express” route for a fee going all the way up to major things such as the street lighting.

Will it change? Personally I dont think it can not in my lifetime anyway. It has to change with the people who have the power and in too many cases the same people are doing the damage for profit. Its a natural occurance in politics and the U.S. and UK may preach to the world but there is a hornets nest stirring up still stemming from the Iraq war and new laws that were introduced that seem to police more of the locals within the U.S. and UK than the “believed” terrorists.. time will tell if things will change for the better but currently I think the world recession could create some dark times around the world.

2 comments for “Philippines Corruption is No.1

  1. Mastergilliam
    August 22, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    WHY HELP THE PHILIPPINES?

    We gave to the Phillipines when they had the floods and land slides and what

    the news didn’t show is when they were protesting in front of the US Embassy

    in Manila demanding the USA to all leave the Philippines and now the

    Philippines just pasted a new Law stating that if there is a complaint filed

    against an alien then a hold departure can be issued for the lenght of FIVE

    YEARS!!!!!! so anyone can file a complaint and get a HDO on someone just

    visting, I have a friend there right now that had this happen and I seen the

    HDO and it clearing states that the case is under investigation, this man

    has not been charged and has been in court 3 times and the compliantive has

    not showen up and the f**king court will not terminate the HDO. DO NOT

    TRAVEL TO THE PHILIPPINES, DON’T SEND THEM ANY MONEY….

    *LOOK @ (HDO) No, 2010-29 sign by: LALLY ORTILLA-MALLARI

    Hold Departure Order issued by Office of the Secretary of Justice,

    Department of Justice, Manila

    @@@ and then @@@
    I did some Internet surfing looking for information about this.

    All that I found indicated that if someone filed criminal charges against you a judge could issue a Hold Departure Order. Initially it sounded like a judge at almost any level could do it, but then I found references to a change in the law that limited the ability of lower court judges to be able to issue a HDO.

    I also found some references of accusations against the government of using it to harass people that the government deemed subversive under some sort of “Homeland Security” like act. Sounds like the type of typical legal stuff most countries have in cases of criminal activity. And like most governments, some people abuse those powers for their own purposes. Welcome to the real world.

    • Tropicalpenpals
      August 23, 2010 at 12:52 am

      I have heard of passports being held for other issues such as “land disputes” by courts as this will stop someone being a flight risk at the same time ties people to the country as they become stuck in limbo until the court system runs its course.. A friend of mine was talking about this in regards some damage done to a property he leased to someone who refused to pay for repairs. Basically told him get it repaired or I will file a case stopping the guy going abroad to work.. The following day the guy had calmed down and an agreement met. So I can understand the frustration that with holding a passport can have especially if you know the court case will go in your favour as without a doubt there will be nothing compensated at least not in the same way of holding someone here in comparison to revenues earned abroad.