Philippines ranks 115th in corruption index

Janvic Mateo - The Philippine Star
Philippines ranks 115th in corruption index
The Philippines scored 34 out of 100 in the 2023 CPI released this week, up from 33 in the 2022 report, but still below the global average of 43.
Philstar.com / File Photo

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines improved its score by a notch but “remains on the lower end of the spectrum” among Asia-Pacific countries in the latest Corruption Perception Index (CPI) of Berlin-based organization Transparency International.

The Philippines scored 34 out of 100 in the 2023 CPI released this week, up from 33 in the 2022 report, but still below the global average of 43.

It ranked 115th out of the 180 countries and territories on the list, up from 116th. Countries are scored based on perceived levels of public sector corruption, with 0 being “highly corrupt” to 100 being “very clean.”

Transparency International said “each country’s score is a combination of at least three data sources drawn from 13 different corruption surveys and assessments.”

“These data sources are collected by a variety of reputable institutions, including the World Bank and the World Economic Forum,” it added.

?Among those measured were various manifestations and policies regarding corruption, including bribery, diversion of public funds, use of public office for private gain without facing consequences, inability of governments to contain corruption and excessive red tape.

Other measures included nepotistic appointments in the civil service, laws on disclosure of finances and potential conflicts of interest, legal protection for people who report cases of bribery and corruption, state capture by narrow vested interests and access to information on public affairs and government activities.

“The global trend of weakening justice systems is reducing accountability for public officials, which allows corruption to thrive,” the report read.

“Both authoritarian and democratic leaders are undermining justice. This is increasing impunity for corruption, and even encouraging it by eliminating consequences for criminals,” it added.?

Based on the 2023 report, over two-thirds of countries scored below 50 out of 100, “which strongly indicates that they have serious corruption problems.”

“The global average is stuck at only 43, while the vast majority of countries have made no progress or declined in the last decade,” it added.

The Philippines’ score barely moved over the years. Its latest score – 34 – is similar to its score in the 2012 report, when it was first included in the CPI. Its highest was 38, in 2014, when it ranked 85th out of 175. Its ranking has since slipped: 95th in 2015 (with a score of 35), 101st in 2016 (35) and 111th in 2017 (34).

It improved to 99th in 2018 (36), then dropped again to 113th in 2019 (34), 115th (34) in 2020, 117th in 2021 (33) and 116th in 2022 (33).

The Philippines was also included in the “significant decliners” list among Asia-Pacific countries in the 2021 and 2022 reports.

Like in the 2022 report, Denmark still topped the latest list with a score of 90, followed by Finland (87), New Zealand (85), Norway (84), Singapore (83), Sweden (82), Switzerland (82), Netherlands (79), Germany (78) and Luxembourg (78).?Somalia, which obtained a score of 11, was still at the bottom of the list, followed by Venezuela (13), Syria (13), South Sudan (13), Yemen (16), North Korea (17), Nicaragua (17), Haiti (17), Equatorial Guinea (17), Turkmenistan (18) and Libya (18).

Among Southeast Asian nations, Singapore was followed by Malaysia at 57th (with a score of 50), Timor-Leste at 70th (43), Vietnam at 83rd (41), Thailand at 108th (35), Indonesia and Philippines at 115th (34), Laos at 136th (28), Cambodia at 158th (22) and Myanmar at 162nd (20).

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