International anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International released on Tuesday its 2018 Corruption Perception Index (CPI). This year, the Philippines receive its best score in the last five years and moved up 12 places in the global ranking.
The Philippines scores 36 for the 2018 index, an improvement from last year’s 34. It now ranks 99th out of the 180 countries indexed.
The CPI reportedly “aggregates data from a number of different sources that provide perceptions by business people and country experts of the level of corruption in the public sector.” It operates on a scale of zero to 100, where zero is “highly corrupt” and 100 is “very clean”.
Transparency International is a global civil society organization leading the fight against corruption in all sectors. The CGI is one of its flagship projects.
This year’s improved score is the best mark yet received under the Duterte administration. It is also the highest the coutnry has scored in 5 years, since the 2013 index. President Duterte, when running for office in 2016, campaigned on the promise of eliminating corruption in government.
Malacañang on Wednesday acknowledged the results of the CPI, saying that though fighting corruption is a long process, the administration is dedicated to the fight against it.
“The President has truly displayed leadership by example and we expect to see further progress in our ranking and make the country’s score at par with the Asia-Pacific regional average.” said Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.
2018 saw the implementation of nationwide measures to reduce the incidence of corruption in the Philippine public sector.
In May, President Duterte signed into law Republic Act No. 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018.
The law requires government agencies to implement policies and measures to ensure that all submitted applications are acted upon within three days for simple transactions, within seven days for complex transactions, and within 20 days for applications that are highly technical. This would facilitate economic growth and enable citizens to easier access government services. The law would also combat corruption by ensuring that all applications are processed in a timely manner, eliminating windows for bribery or other acts of corruption to take place.
Duterte has also fired several of his own appointed Cabinet members and law enforcement officials following corruption allegations.
Other programs launched by the administration to combat corruption are a hotline for citizen complaints (8888), an issuance of an order on freedom of information, and cutting red tape in line agencies.