Special Report on the Economy

More Pinoys still believe corruption a big problem

At least 64 percent of Filipinos believe that corruption in the public sector is a “serious problem,” with about 69 percent saying the police are affected by corruption and 64 percent believing public servants and officials are corrupt, according to the latest Global Corruption Barometer of Transparency International. But the Palace chose to focus on a part of the survey that says 35 percent believe corruption has decreased “a little” over the past two years. “Those who were surveyed, at the very least, recognized that there [has] been an increase in the recognition that corruption has decreased under this administration and we continue to fight against corruption,” presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said. He glossed over the part where 31 percent said corruption remains the same and another 31 percent saying corruption increased “a little” or “a lot.” The Berlin-based  group  also asked “to what extent do you think corruption is a problem in the public sector”  and 64 percent  said “it is a serious problem” and another 19% saying “it is a problem.” Twelve percent said it is a “slight problem” while 3 percent said it is not really a problem and 2percent said it is not a problem at all. Another question was “to what extent is this government run by a few big entities acting in their own best interests,” and 47percent said “to a large extent” and 15 percent said “entirely.” Another 27 percent said “somewhat” while 8 percent said “limited extent” and four percent said “not at all.” When asked “how effective do you think your government’s actions are in the fight against corruption,”  31 percent said it is neither effective nor ineffective while 30 percent said it is “effective” and 19 percent said it is “ineffective.” The survey also asked respondents to rate corruption in 12 institutions and 69 percent believed the police were corrtupt, followed by public officials and servants. Fifty-eight percent also believed political parties to be corrupt, 56 percent believed the judiciary and 52 percent thought the legislature was affected by corruption. Although 19 percent of the respondents admitted paying bribes to the police (the highest number in the survey), Lacierda also defended the Philippine National Police. “I know for a fact that the PNP has done a lot of reforms, and they continue to do a lot of reforms, and I’m sure that General (Alan) Purisima is—will be…has continued all these reforms and will push for greater reforms in the police,” the spokesman said. But Purisima was unable for comment on the matter on Wednesday, and PNP information officer Senior Supt. Reuben Sindak said they would come out with an official statement. There was still no such statement at press time. Lacierda acknowledged that “there are still some levels of corruption” in the Aquino administration, but he said steps are being undertaken to address these. “This Transparency International report is instructive for us. For those institutions that were identified as somewhat corrupt or most corrupt, they will have to look at this thing and make some improvements,” Lacierda added.
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