MANILA- The Philippines improved its ranking in a global corruption index, climbing 12 notches.
With a score of 36/100, Manila ranked 99th out of 180 countries, the 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) showed.
This is a significant improvement from the Philippines' 2017 performance, when it recorded its lowest score of 34 in five years and slipped 10 places to rank 111th.
The ranking, conducted by the global anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International, reviews countries and territories through experts and businessmen's perception of government corruption.
It uses a scale of zero to 100, where zero is “highly corrupt” and 100 is “very clean.”
The Philippines' score, however, is still far from the Asia-Pacific regional average of 44, said Transparency International. It also noted that most countries in the region are failing in the fight against corruption and need to do far more.
The group said low performing countries on the index share several undemocratic commonalities that hinder long-term progress in anti-corruption efforts.
These include weak democratic institutions, laws, regulations, and enforcement mechanisms.
The group, however, noted that many countries in the Asia-Pacific region are implementing reforms such as improved access to information laws, stronger anti-corruption agencies, and a stronger justice system.
The Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission said it was happy about the improved ranking, but it also vowed to do better.
"We are very happy with the improvement in the ranking but I’m not yet satisfied with this, we will go further than that,” commission chairman Dante Jimenez said.
Jimenez admitted that the government still has a long way to go in the fight against corruption.
“The gamut of corruption hindi lang sa executive branch, it is also in the judiciary, legislative and local government units,” Jimenez said.
Almost 500 cases of corruption are now being investigated by the PACC, Jimenez said.