Palace downplays corruption survey

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 11 2010 08:38 AM | Updated as of Mar 11 2010 09:05 PM

MANILA, Philippines - A Malacañang official downplayed Wednesday a perception survey conducted by the Hong Kong-based Political & Economic Risk Consultancy (PERC), which showed the Philippines rated fourth most corrupt of 16 major Asia-Pacific investment destinations.

Deputy presidential spokesman Ric Saludo said the PERC survey does not give a good picture of the actual investment climate in the Philippines. The Philippines scored 8.06 in the 2010 PERC survey, indicating that--against its neighbors in the region--it swung from worst to bad. In 2009, its score of 7.0 landed it on the 6th most corrupt spot. In 2008, it was ranked the most corrupt.

Saludo said businessmen who answered the PERC survey should look to the results of the latest Social Weather Stations corruption survey, which saw fewer managers paying bribes.

The 2009 SWS Surveys of Enterprises on Corruption earlier showed that 60% of managers were asked for bribes in one of seven transactions tested. The new figure is 11 points lower than the record-high 71% in 2008, 58% in 2006 and 61% in 2007.

SWS said that compared to the previous year, incidence of bribery declined for all seven transactions tested in the 2009 survey. It fell by 17 points in getting local government permits and licenses; 15 points in securing national government permits and licenses; eight points in application for government incentives.

Saludo said even the PERC survey showed some promise since the Philippines previously fell to the bottom of the list 2 years ago.

He attributed the improved rating to several anti-corruption measures in government including the compliance of 4,000 government entities to the Anti-Red Tape Act.

He also praised civil society observers for joining a procurement transparency group that evaluates government procurement projects. He said the group is composed of representatives from the Department of Budget and Management, National Economic and Development Authority, Department of Justice and civil society groups. With reports from Reuters and Agence France-Presse