Among the world’s most corrupt countries

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty Josephus Jimenez - The Freeman

Truth hurts, but people are living on blatant lies. Here are the truths: Among the 180 countries evaluated in 2022 by the World Corruption Index, the worst 10 are Somalia, Syria, South Sudan, Venezuela, Yemen, Libya, North Korea, Haiti, Equatorial Guinea, and Burundi. On a scale of 0 to 100, the score of Somalia is a dismal 12, ranked number 180 among 180. Burundi has a score of 17 and ranked number 171. The Philippines is ranked 116 out of 180 with an embarrassing score of 33. This year, it is projected that our score will slide down even more. Shame.

The most honest countries, or shall we say the least corrupt, are arranged from highest to lowest: Denmark, number one with a score of 90; Finland, 87; New Zealand, 87; Norway, 84; Singapore, 83 (number 5 in the whole world); Sweden, 83; Switzerland, 82; Netherlands, 80; Germany, 79; Ireland, 77; Luxembourg, 77; Hong Kong, 76; Australia, 75; Canada, 74; Estonia, 74; Iceland, 74; Uruguay, 74; Belgium, 73; Japan, 73; United Kingdom, 73; France, 72; Austria, 71; Seychelles, 70; USA, 69; Bhutan, 68; Taiwan, 68; Chile, 67; United Arab Emirates, 67; Barbados, 65; Bahamas, 64; Israel, 63; South Korea, 63; Lithuania, 62; Portugal, 62.

China is ranked 65 with a score of 45, much better than the Philippines. Russia is worse than us. It is ranked 137 out of 180 countries also with a score of 45. Let us look at the Muslim countries: Saudi Arabia is ranked 54 with a score of 51 (much better than the Philippines), UAE has a rank of 27 and a score of 67, Kuwait with the rank of 77 and a score of 42, Oman with a score 44 and the rank of 69. Yemen has a score of 16 and the rank of 176. Bahrain with a score of 44 and the rank of 69, Iraq has a score of 22 and the rank of 157, Iran with a score of 25 and the rank of 147. Syria with a score of 13 is the rank of 178. Turkey with a score of 36 and the rank of 101. Afghanistan with a score of 24 and the rank of 150.

I am dismayed with the scores and ranks of Catholic and other Christian countries. How are these countries faring in the Corruption Perception Index relative to Muslim and other non-Christian countries? Let us focus on South America. Mexico with the rank of 126 and a score of 31. Guatemala is 150th with a score 24, 157th is Honduras with a score of 23, 48th rank goes to Costa Rica with a score of 54, Panama with the rank of 101 and a score of 36, Colombia has a score of 39 and a rank of 91, Venezuela with a score of 14 and rank 177, Ecuador has a rank of 101 and a score of 36. Peru with a score of 36 and a rank of 101. Bolivia with a score of 31 is ranked 126. Chile is ranked 27 with a score of 67. Argentina with a score of 38 and rank 94. Brazil also has a score of 38 and is likewise ranked 94.

In 2021, the Philippines was ranked 117th with a score of 33, almost the same as in 2022. The Corruption Perception Index is a global watch that observes and analyzes the performance of 180 countries based on inputs coming from, among others, the World Bank, the World Economic Forum, the Political and Economic Risk Consultancy based in Hong Kong, the Global Insight based in the US and the Economist Intelligence based in UK. In May 2014, Tremors Moss wrote in the Wall Street Journal about the $229 million allegedly linking Janet Napoles and a number of senators. In 2012, the ZTE kickback scandal was exposed allegedly involving $1.3 billion and linking high-ranking officials.

In 2010, the Philippines was ranked fourth most corrupt among the 16 major Asia-Pacific investment destinations. That is why today, our country has the lowest direct foreign investments among the 10 ASEAN countries. The investors do not trust us anymore. The people seem to accept corruption as part of our culture because most of those involved in major corruption controversies are still reelected over and over again. And yet, we pride ourselves as the only Catholic country in Asia. Shame on all of us.

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