The Philippines garnered recognition of anti-corruption efforts while emerging as the most improved country in a regional corruption and integrity survey conducted by the Political and Economic Risk Consultancy Ltd. (PERC).
Photo credit: Rappler
In PERC’s Report on Corruption, the Philippines got 7.05 this year from 7.43 points last year. The Philippines moved from to 10th place from 12th place in 2014. The survey shows that the Philippines has the most improved anti-corruption campaign among 16 countries.
The annual survey covers 14 countries in Asia, including United States and Australia. On a scale of 0-10, 10 being the worst, respondents were asked: "How do you grade the problem of corruption in the country in which you are working?"
While corruption in the country is still a "serious problem" in public and private sectors, the report said Aquino's performance was enough to move the country higher in the rankings compared to his two predecessors.
“President Aquino has personally maintained an image for being ‘clean’ and for trying to reduce the problem,” PERC said in the report.
“The Philippines was the only country we surveyed where there was an improvement of more than five percent. This is an example of how leadership can make a difference." the report added.
Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima gladly welcomed the survey results. In a statement on May 6, Purisima praised the President's governance and improvements he has achieved for the country.
“Over the past six years, we have registered marked improvements across every significant indicator and international ranking. It’s clear as day: President Aquino’s good governance agenda has driven up this virtuous cycle,” Purisima said.
“With the wind on our backs, we ought to double down on rooting out corruption – the better to optimize our public resources to invest in our people,” he added.
The Philippines ranks higher than China, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Indonesia. Countries with higher ranks include Malaysia and Taiwan. The US ranked fifth, while Singapore topped the survey.
“Countries with worse grades than the Philippines have lacked the top-level leadership that was able to convince the public of their own commitment to high ethical standards, let alone their determination to fix deep, systemic problems with corruption." the PERC report said.