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Palace: Drive vs corruption to continue after 'modest' Transparency International rating

Alexis Romero - Philstar.com
Palace: Drive vs corruption to continue after 'modest' Transparency International rating
Various military equipment are on display at the Luneta Park in Manila as part of the 84th anniversary celebration of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in December 2019.
The STAR / KJ Rosales, file

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Thursday vowed to sustain its drive for a clean government after the Philippines got a "modest" rating in a global assessment of corruption risks in state defense institutions.

The Philippines got a "C" rating or moderate risk of corruption in Transparency International's Government Defence Integrity Index, which assesses the existence, effectiveness, and enforcement of institutional controls across key corruption risk areas. The country was given a "C" rating in all risk areas namely political (50/100), financial (60/100), personnel (59/100), operational (53/100), and procurement (53/100).

According to Transparency International, institutional resilience to corruption is modest across the Philippines’ defense institutions. However, oversight of policy-making and procurement by parliament is "particularly weak" and transparency remains "limited" throughout the sector, including with regard to financial management.

The watchdog, however, described corruption risk mitigation in the country's military operations as "relatively robust."

"This relentless drive to have a clean, strong and responsive government will continue until the remainder of the president’s term," acting presidential spokesman Karlo Nograles said in a statement.

Nograles said the Philippines' rating is similar to those of more than 20 countries including Australia, Japan, South Korea, and Singapore.

"While there are areas mentioned by Transparency International that need improvement, such as policymaking and financial management, which the defense and security sector will review and consider to better their mechanisms, the civil society organization acknowledged that corruption risk mitigation in the Philippines is relatively robust in military operations," the Palace official said.

"We credit this to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte's zero tolerance against allegations of official malfeasance," he added.

Nograles cited Duterte's decision to relieve numerous high-ranking military officials over alleged corruption activities taking place at a military hospital in 2018.

He added that the president has announced the dismissal of 261 government officials and employees and the suspension of 187 others during his weekly public addresses from November 2020 to June 2021.

Nograles also mentioned the Philippines' defense system of management, which he said "institutionalizes the judicious and efficient use of resources in our defense acquisitions to ensure transparency and accountability in the procurement process."  

"The president likewise raised the level of professionalism of our AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) personnel by promoting the welfare of our troops and ensuring they can focus on fulfilling their mandate of protecting the Filipino people," he added.

The data for the index was collected from December 2019 to February this year.

TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL
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