Corruption index: Phl improves rank

By Kathleen Martin and Helen Flores
Corruption index: Phl improves rank

The Philippines improved its ranking in the latest Corruption Perception Index (CPI), reflecting the government’s drive for good governance.

In the latest report released by Transparency International, the Philippines climbed to 85th place from 94th last year and 105th in 2012.

The survey covered 175 countries this year, 177 in 2013 and 176 in 2012.

“Although the Philippines still belongs to two-thirds of the 175 countries (that) scored below 50, this is a marked improvement from the 2012 CPI score,” Transparency International-Philippines said in a statement yesterday.

In 2012, the Philippines scored 34/100 and ranked 105; while it scored 36/100 and ranked 94 in 2013.

“Focusing on the score rather than the rank, the Philippines showed a significant improvement in the CPI if we compare our score in 2012 and 2014,” the anti-corruption group said.

“We consider a score of +4 to represent change in the perceived level of corruption,” said Cleo Calimbahin, executive director of Transparency International-Philippines.

The CPI pools data from business groups and experts to estimate the level of corruption in the public sector.

The Philippines shared rank 85 with Burkina Faso, India, Jamaica, Peru, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago and Zambia.

Denmark topped the rankings, followed by New Zealand, Finland, Sweden and Norway. Switzerland, Singapore, Netherlands, Luxembourg and Canada complete the top 10.

North Korea and Somalia, meanwhile, shared rank 174 and were deemed the most corrupt among the countries surveyed.

Also near bottom of the list were Sudan, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Iraq, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Libya and Eritrea.

“This development recognizes the achievements of the Philippines in the area of governance,” Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said.

“The BSP is one with the government in promoting transparency and accountability, taking these guiding principles strictly in the conduct of its regulatory role over the financial sector,” he added.

In a statement, the BSP’s Investor Relations Office (IRO) said the country’s improvement in the rankings shows the government’s drive to fight corruption is making headway.

“The improvement in the Philippines’ ranking came with the Aquino administration’s sustained reform agenda, which includes transparency in the budget process and efforts to cleanse government agencies perceived to suffer from corruption,” the IRO said.