SWS: Businessmen saw a lot of corruption in 2013

By Helen Flores, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jan 16 2014 08:07 AM | Updated as of Jan 16 2014 05:44 PM

MANILA - More business executives in the country said they saw “a lot” of corruption in the government last year, more than in 2012, a recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey revealed yesterday.

The 2013 SWS Survey of Enterprises on Corruption found 56 percent of respondents saying they saw a lot of corruption in the public sector compared to a record-low 43 percent in 2012.

Forty-two percent say most/almost all companies in their own sector of business gave bribes to win government contracts, almost the same as the 41 percent in 2012.

The survey was conducted from July 31 to Nov. 29 last year, using face-to-face interviews of executives of 951 enterprises in the National Capital Region, Metro Angeles, Cavite-Laguna-Batangas, Metro Iloilo, Metro Cebu, Metro Davao, and Cagayan de Oro-Iligan.

The 2013 Survey of Enterprises on Corruption is the 11th in a series of surveys done by SWS since 2000.

In the latest survey, the research institute said the number of business executives who said that the Aquino administration’s steps to eradicate corruption are somewhat/very effective fell slightly to 73 percent in 2013, from 78 percent in 2012.

Those who said the government often/almost always punished corrupt government officials also dropped to 20 percent in 2013, from 27 percent in 2012.

Of the 24 government institutions rated for sincerity in fighting corruption, the sole agency with “very bad” net sincerity rating is the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

The BOC’s rating fell from “bad” or -46 in 2012 to “very bad” or -63 in 2013. It obtained very bad to execrable or extremely bad ratings in 2005-2009.

The Land Transportation Office scored -32 (bad) last year from “poor” or -26 in 2012.

Four agencies had net sincerity ratings of “poor” last year. These are the Bureau of Internal Revenue, -10 (from -20); Department of Public Works and Highways, -22 (from -21), Philippine National Police, -24 (from -12), and the House of Representatives, -28 from -6 in 2012.

The Senate recorded the biggest downgrade, from “good” or +36 in 2012 to neutral or -8 in 2013, after a “neutral” or -1 in 2009.

The Office of the President’s net sincerity rating in fighting corruption dropped by three points to +77 but was still classified as “excellent.”

The other agencies which obtained net sincerity ratings of “very good” in 2013 are the Department of Trade and Industry, +58 (from +59); Department of Health, +53 (from +61) Social Security System, +52 (from +40) and Department of Social Welfare and Development, which was surveyed for the first time, with +52.

Four agencies had net sincerity ratings of “good” in 2013: Department of Education, +49 (from +51); Department of Labor and Employment, also surveyed for the first time, with +43; Supreme Court, +36 (from +24); and Department of Justice, +35 (from -5 in 2009).

Five agencies had net sincerity ratings of “moderate” in 2013: city government, +23 (from +21) Office of the Ombudsman, +23 (from +39), Commission on Audit, +22 (+8 in 2009), Department of the Interior and Local Government, downgraded to +20 (from +30) and Sandiganbayan, +15 (from +27).

Other agencies that had net sincerity ratings of “neutral” in 2013 included the trial courts with +9 (from +11 in 2009), Department of Budget and Management with +9 (from +23), Department of Transportation and Communications with +8 (from +10), Commission on Elections, +7 (from -13); and Department of Environment and Natural Resources, -4 (from +1).

The ratings of agencies’ sincerity in fighting corruption were graded as excellent (+70 and above), very good (net +50 to +69), good (+30 to +49), moderate (+10 to +29), neutral (-9 to +9), poor (-10 to -29), bad (-30 to -49), very bad (-50 to -69), and execrable (-70 and below).

Changes were considered “notable“ when the rating moved in a different grade.

An opposition lawmaker expressed exasperation yesterday over what she called “the latest blame game” waged by Malacañang for attributing to Super Typhoon Yolanda the comment of people that rated themselves poor in the latest SWS survey.

On Tuesday, Aquino said many of the SWS respondents were probably victims of Yolanda, yet he claims he does not govern based on surveys but on facts.

“At the rate President Aquino is going, the next Tropical Depression Agaton better get ready to be battered with condemnations from the President’s press release machinery,” Gabriela party-list Rep. Emmi de Jesus said in a statement.

Agaton will be the name assigned by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration to the first tropical depression that will enter the country this year.

De Jesus advised Malacañang to quit blaming imaginary causes to rationalize poverty, rising food prices and criminality in the country.

“One million more Filipinos consider themselves poor not because Yolanda struck a month before the SWS survey, but because of three years of corruption and the ‘Bahala na si Lord sa inyo (Let the Lord take care of you)’ attitude about oil prices, rice shortages and electricity bill hikes. Aquino has only himself to blame and shame, along with his incompetent Cabinet,” she said.