Government now more corrupt - survey
Louis Bacani (The Philippine Star) - January 15, 2014 - 5:36pm

MANILA, Philippines - More Filipino businessmen reported "a lot" of corruption in the public sector last year, according to the latest survey of the Social Weather Stations (SWS).

Based on the results of the new SWS Survey of Enterprises on Corruption, the number of business executives seeing "a lot" of corruption in the public sector rose to 56 percent in 2013 from the record-low 43 percent in 2012.

The survey polled executives of 951 companies nationwide from July 31 to November 29. Thirty-eight percent of the respondents said they had personal knowledge of public sector corruption in their sector of business in the last three months, higher than the 33 percent in 2012.

But the SWS said the figures on the perceived public sector corruption were still among the lowest recorded since 2000.

While the perceived corruption in the public sector has increased, the number of the respondents who said that "most/almost all" companies in their own sector of business gave bribes to win government contracts was practically the same as the record-low 41 percent in 2012.

The SWS also said solicitations of bribes from enterprises are also declining. A record-low 44 percent say they were solicited for any of the seven types of bribes, an improvement from the 50 percent in 2012 and 60 percent in 2009.

These bribes are for getting local and national government permits and licenses, paying income taxes, complying with import regulations, supplying government with goods and services, collecting receivables from government, and availing of government incentives.

The other highlights of the survey were:

  • Those with extensive knowledge of the administration's anti-corruption efforts fell slightly to 35 percent in 2013, from 37 percent in 2012.
  • Those saying that the administration's steps to eradicate corruption are "somewhat/very effective" fell slightly to 73 percent in 2013, from 78 percent in 2012.
  • Those saying that government "often/almost always" punishes corrupt government officials fell to 20 percent in 2013, from 27 percent in 2012.
  • Of the 24 government institutions rated for sincerity in fighting corruption, there were five upgrades, nine no-change, ten downgrades from 2009/2012 to 2013, and two first-time ratings.
  • In 2013, 88 percent say corruption will be reduced by passage by a strong Freedom of Information law, up from 78 percent in 2009.

The polled businessmen also think that the fight against corruption in the private sector is generally favorable.

The survey results also showed that the business climate looks good:

  • Satisfaction that the national government is promoting a good climate reached a new record-high 70 percent in 2013, versus 69 percent in 2012.
  • Satisfaction that the city government is promoting a good climate reached a new record-high 67 percent in 2013, versus 64 percent in 2012.
  • Business expectations for the next two years are excellent/good - reached a new record-high 76 percent in 2013, versus 74 percent in 2012. 

Related story: SWS: 'Sincerity' of Congress, Customs in fighting corruption drops

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