Friday, January 12, 2007

Global Integrity Index

A friend alerted me to the website of Global Integrity. The organization measured the effectiveness of anti-corruption mechanism in different countries. I looked at the country report of the Philippines.

My impression is that the overall score the Philippines garnered (73 - Moderate) is fair, based on the criteria they measured.

Of the 6 categories measured, the Philippines got the highest score in the Oversight and Regulation and Anti-Corruption and the Rule of Law categories. We got high scores in this categories because we have national agencies that deal with corruption (the Ombudsman and the COA) and we have laws against corruption. I urge people to visit the site and see for themselves, I found myself generally agreeing (with a few quibbles) to the scores given.

1. Civil Society, Public Information and Media - 72
2. Elections - 60
3. Government Accountability - 71
4. Administration and Civil Service - 73
5. Oversight and Regulation - 85
6. Anti-Corruption and Rule of Law -78

From a Filipino's viewpoint, the anti-corruption measures are poor, but this is why a comparative survey can be useful, it forces us to think differently about corruption in our country. This survey tells us that though we may view our country and government officials as hopelessly corrupt, from a worldwide perspective, we're not that bad, our plight is not hopeless.

From the specific findings in the survey, we can conclude that we already have the institutional mechanisms necessary to combat endemic corruption , we even have a vigorous civil society sector to help us, but we need, (1) Electoral Reform, the category that we scored the lowest, (2) An effective whistle-blowing process of the country (we may have the laws but as long as we cannot find credible witnesses against the perpetrators of corruption, we cannot effectively go after them) (3) Accountability, specifically, budget and legislative accountability.

Which is why it is imperative that we elect people with known probity. It is imperative that we elect people who will implement the laws against corruption to the fullest.

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