The government's efforts at curbing corruption seems to have borne fruit as the Philippines moved up a global ranking of countries based on perception on corruption.
The Philippines has been ranked 105th out of 176 countries in the "Corruption Perception Index" put out by anti-corruption coalition Transparency International.
This compares to its ranking of 129th out of 183 countries in the 2011 list.
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The Philippines scored 34 out of 100 in the composite index, which is based on "a combination of surveys and assessments of corruption, collected by a variety of reputable institutions," the report said.
A score of zero means that a country is perceived as "highly corrupt" and 100 means it is perceived as "very clean."
Last year, the Philippines got a composite index score of 2.6 out of 10, where 0 means it is perceived as "highly corrupt and 10 as "very clean."
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"Governments need to integrate anti-corruption actions into all aspects of decision-making," Transparency International said.
"They must prioritize better rules on lobbying and political financing, make public spending and contracting more transparent, and make public bodies more accountable," it added.
This, as it noted that corruption "translates into human suffering" and "generates popular anger."
Commenting on the report, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said the improvement is "an affirmation of the efforts to strengthen institutions, provide deterrents against corrupt practices, and hold accountable those who have used power for personal gain."
The administration of President Benigno Aquino III, however, "acknowledges that the anti-corruption drive remains a work in progress," Lacierda said.
"Transparency needs to be instituted across all government agencies, whether on the national or local level. There are still bumps that need to be evened out for the playing field to be truly leveled. In many cases, justice remains to be served," he added.
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The Philippines shared the 105th spot with Algeria, Armenia, Bolivia, Gambia, Kosovo and Mali.
Among the nine Southeast Asian countries, the Philippines was the fifth perceived to be least corrupt.
Ranked higher than the Philippines were Singapore, which ranked 5th globally; Brunei (46th); Malaysia; (54th) and Thailand (88th).
The country, however, performed better than Indonesia (118th), Vietnam (123rd), Cambodia (157th), and Laos (160th).
Denmark, Finland and New Zealand are perceived to be the least corrupt countries this year, sharing the top spot in the ranking.
Rounding out the top 10, meanwhile, are Sweden, Singapore, Switzerland, Australia, Norway, Canada and the Netherlands.
At the bottom of the list are Somalia, North Korea, Afghanistan, Sudan, Myanmar, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iraq, Venezuela, Haiti, Chad and Burundi.
Philippine economic growth in the first quarter slowed to a three-year low of 5.2 percent, well below forecasts, due to lethargic government spending and weak exports, officials said Thursday. "While growth in the private sector remains robust, the slower than programmed pace of public spending, particularly the decline in public construction, has slowed down the overall growth of the economy," Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan told reporters. "Exports were the other source of the …