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Corruption: Our Bane, Her Legacy

February 20, 2010

As the controversy-riddled rule of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo winds down, corruption in sensitive and revenue generating agencies of government is the badge of dishonour.

As Dr. Mahar Mangahas of  the Social Weather station reports:

The annual proportion of managers seeing “a lot” of corruption in the public sector has been steady at two-thirds since 2005. Almost all of them see it happening in the national level; progressively fewer see it at the provincial, city and barangay levels. The median reported provision for bribery in a government contract continues to be 20 percent.

The annual proportion seeing “a lot” of corruption in the private sector, also flat since 2005, has been at one-fourth. The median reported provision for bribery in a private contract continues to be 10 percent.

The proportion of managers whose companies were solicited for a bribe by someone in government in the past year was 61 percent—below the 2008 peak of 70 percent, but still the second highest rate since 2005.

On the other hand, half of the managers say there has been improvement in the transparency of the process of bidding for a government contract.

Managers’ assessments of government sincerity in fighting corruption depend on the agency the survey asks about; here I list the agencies from highest to lowest. The Supreme Court, Social Security System, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Health and city governments have kept their grades of “good” (defined by SWS as Net Sincerity of +30 to +49). Trial courts and the Armed Forces of the Philippines have risen to “moderate” (+10 to +29) in 2009 from “neutral” (-9 to +9) in 2008.
Agencies graded “neutral” in 2009 are the Sandiganbayan, Commission on Audit (down from “moderate” in 2008), Department of Education, Senate, Department of Finance (“moderate” in 2008), Department of Justice (up from “poor,” or within -10 to -29, in 2007-2008), Commission on Elections (up from “poor” in 2008 and from “bad,” or within -30 to -49, in 2007), and the Ombudsman.

Agencies graded “poor” in 2009 are the Department of Budget and Management (down from “neutral”), Philippine National Police, Department of Agriculture, Department of the Interior and Local Government, and the Presidential Commission on Good Government (up from “bad” in 2008).

Agencies graded “bad” in 2009 are the Department of Transportation and Communications (formerly “poor”), Presidential Anti-Graft Commission (“poor” in 2008, “neutral” in 2007), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (formerly “poor”), House of Representatives, Office of the President (“poor” in 2008, “neutral” in 2007), and Land Transportation Office.

The agencies graded “very bad” (-50 or worse) in 2009 are, as in earlier years, the Bureau of Internal Revenue, Department of Public Works and Highways, and Bureau of Customs.

Charts 3 and 4 of the SWS study note a decline is the bribe-taking experienced by businesses but a close reading of the chart by even a layman reveals the pervasiveness of corruptions.

While corruption is certainly not the personal preserve of the Arroyo regime, the fact that she has been unable to significantly mitigate it speaks volumes about her nearly decade long hold on power.

And the lady, through her congressional lackeys, even wants to be installed as s Speaker.

Drat   and double drat!!!

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