Government sees reform programs being sustained
Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) - January 29, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – With just five months left in its term, the Aquino administration is confident that the reforms since 2010 will not be reversed.

“We are confident that the reform programs that have been instituted by the government are strongly taking root and these gains will be sustained,” Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said.

Coloma issued the statement following the report of Transparency International showing the Philippines sliding to 95th position in the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2015, from 85th in 2014, 94th in 2013, and 105th in 2012.

According to the German-based watchdog that conducted the survey, the Philippines was among two-thirds of 168 countries that scored below 50, on a scale of 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).

The Philippines scored 35 in 2015, compared to 38 in 2014.

“Perceptions are based on various things but we are more concerned about sustaining the reality of a well-established framework for good governance,” Coloma explained in a media briefing in Malacañang.

Noting that reality is more important than perception, Coloma said that in the past five years, the government has instituted major reforms that have strengthened the country’s governance structure.

“We have initiated the heightened public accountability of government agencies through the mandatory requirement that all government agencies must maintain websites that are accessible to the public,” he said.

“These websites contain vital information on major decisions made by various departments and agencies of the government – major procurement transactions, as well as how they have spent their budget,” Coloma explained.

According to the report, Denmark is still the least corrupt country with 91 points, followed by Finland (90), Sweden (89), New Zealand (88), the Netherlands (87), Norway (87), Switzerland (86), Singapore (85) and Canada (83).

Germany, Luxembourg and the United Kingdom are tied in 10th place with 81 points each.

The Corruption Perceptions Index scores and ranks countries/territories based on how corrupt a country’s public sector is perceived to be.

It is a composite index, a combination of surveys and assessments of corruption, collected by a variety of reputable institutions.

Coloma said over radio dzRB on Thursday that after more than five years in office, it was the first time that the country slipped in its ranking in an international survey on corruption.

He said in government, a performance-based bonus was introduced. This scheme is meant to encourage state workers to perform better and get rewarded instead of engaging in corrupt practices to earn more.

Coloma also said the administration was committed to good governance and instituted reforms to promote transparency and public accountability.

Coloma said perception was different from reality and that the government’s continued determination to eradicate corruption must be considered by institutions.

“Corruption destroys the country’s image, it is corruption that reduces the funds to improve the lives of the people,” Coloma said. – With Paolo Romero, Aurea Calica, Marvin Sy

 

ACIRC AUREA CALICA COLOMA CORRUPTION CORRUPTION PERCEPTIONS INDEX GOVERNMENT LUXEMBOURG AND THE UNITED KINGDOM MARVIN SY NEW ZEALAND PRESIDENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS OPERATIONS OFFICE SECRETARY HERMINIO COLOMA JR. TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL
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