Friday, January 29, 2016

Gov’t more concerned with sustaining gains from reform programs

Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said the government is more concerned with sustaining gains from its reform programs.

Secretary Coloma was reacting to a Transparency International report, which showed the Philippines sliding to 95th position in the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2015, from 85th in 2014, 94th in 2013, and 105th in 2012.

According to the German-based watchdog that conducted the survey, the Philippines was among two-thirds of 168 countries that scored below 50, on a scale of 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).

The Philippines scored 35 in 2015, compared to 38 in 2014.

"We are confident that the reform programs that have been instituted by the government are strongly taking root and these gains will be sustained. Perceptions are based on various things but we are more concerned about sustaining the reality of a well-established framework for good governance," Secretary Coloma said during a media briefing in Malacañang.

Noting that reality is more important than perception, the Palace official said that in the past five years, the government has instituted major reforms that have strengthened the country’s governance structure.

"We have initiated the heightened public accountability of government agencies through the mandatory requirement that all government agencies must maintain websites that are accessible to the public. These websites contain vital information on major decisions made by various departments and agencies of the government. Major procurement transactions, as well as how they have spent their budget," Coloma explained.

According to the report, Denmark is still the least corrupt country with 91 points, followed by Finland (90), Sweden (89), New Zealand (88), The Netherlands (87), Norway (87), Switzerland (86), Singapore (85), and Canada (83). Germany, Luxembourg and the United Kingdom are tied in 10th place with 81 points each.

The Corruption Perceptions Index scores and ranks countries/territories based on how corrupt a country’s public sector is perceived to be. It is a composite index, a combination of surveys and assessments of corruption, collected by a variety of reputable institutions. (PCOO News Release)

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