Corruption index not reflective of investor sentiment: Palace

By Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 30 2011 10:03 PM | Updated as of Mar 31 2011 03:24 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang said on Wednesday that the results of a survey by a Hong Kong-based think-tank on the perception of corruption in the Philippines does not reflect the sentiments of businessmen who have expressed interest to invest in the country.

"To tell you quite honestly, very contrary to what we have been hearing from CEOs, CFOs and COOs that have come to the Palace. In fact, the President just concluded the meeting with representatives from the US-ASEAN Business Council this morning,” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said. 

“The representatives did welcome the thrust of the government when it came to anti-corruption, and they agreed with moves to rationalize laws when it came to investments and incentives. They did support the fact that optimism is up among businessmen and the investors in the country. So, again, it's quite at odds with the result of the survey," Valte added.

Hong Kong-based  Political  and Economic Risk Consultancy, Ltd.’s (PERC) latest Asian Intelligence report showed that the Philippines is still viewed as having a serious corruption problem, with its overall score worsening.

On a scale of one to 10 -- with 10 being the worst -- the country garnered a score of 8.9, poorer than its 2010 score of 8.25, according to the PERC  report.

Valte said corruption cannot be eradicated right away but the administration has started reforms to stop corruption.
"Yes, first, the problem on corruption is not something that will go away overnight. The President has said in the past that to be able to push forward with the reforms intended for the anti-corruption agenda, there will be certain things that will have to be done. We understand that we have laid the basis for the steps, so far," Valte added.