CIBAC Party-List Representatives House Deputy Speaker Bro. Eddie Villanueva and Domeng Rivera expressed dismay after the country ranked 115th place in the recently released 2020 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) by the global watchdog Transparency International.
In the 2020 CPI report, the Philippines retained its score of 34, the same with its 2019 ranking but slips to 115th place from 113th last year out of the 180 countries included in the study. It shows the country remains below the average score for the Asia Pacific which is 45.
The CPI scores countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption using a scale of zero to 100, with zero as “highly corrupt” and 100 as “very clean.”
“It is very disappointing to know that we have not made any progress at all in our fight against corruption. Despite the government’s strong pronouncements on curbing it and the high-profile exposes and investigations we have seen, the CPI report simply shows that it is business as usual for corrupt government officials and employees in the government,” said Villanueva.
“What is more worrying and disturbing is that the CPI 2020 report was done during the height of pandemic and community quarantines last year which indicates that corruption in the country chooses no season nor consideration; it keeps on thriving anywhere and anytime – endemic and unabated. It must be a strong signal to the government that it needs to go back to the drawing board to examine its anti-corruption efforts, either they are not performing enough or we’re missing the right solutions to the problem,” according to Villanueva.
“It’s high time for the government to take genuine even drastic reforms to address this issue. We call on the certification as urgent of the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill which CIBAC has been championing ever since because an FOI law will certainly institute the culture of openness, transparency and accountability in the government. This will make our citizenry an informed and educated people which we all believe is the most effective antidote to corruption in the government,” said Villanueva.
For his part, Rivera said that it is very crucial the government address the problem of unabated corruption particularly in this time of pandemic when almost all is counting on the government’s help.
“The 2020 CPI report reflects that corruption is a real and ever-present problem which can make the COVID-19 pandemic efforts of the government short of attaining its desired results. It is apparent that there is always a great chance that government resources cannot be translated into meaningful and essential services hence depriving our citizens with the rightful public goods that they deserve. We thus call on our people to always be vigilant and be at the forefront of the fight against corruption ” said Rivera.