MANILA - The Philippines has dropped 2 notches in a global corruption index by Berlin-based watchdog Transparency International, which said efforts to rein in corruption in the country appears to have "stagnated."
The country ranked 115th out of 180 countries with a score of 34 out of 100 points, the 2020 Corruption Perception Index released Thursday showed. It was in the 113th spot on the 2019 list.
The Philippines retained its score from the 2019 survey, the lowest it had since the country was included in the CPI rankings in 2012.
"The Philippines, with a score of 34, is 11 points below the regional CPI average, and anti-corruption efforts appear to have stagnated since 2015," Transparency International said in its report.
"At the same time, the government’s response to COVID-19 is amongst the worst in terms of compliance with human rights and democratic norms."
The Varieties of Democracy's Pandemic Backsliding Project, which captures the extent to which state responses to COVID-19 violate democratic standards, reported multiple violations against media freedom, infractions on non-derogable rights, and abusive enforcement of emergency rules by the police and the military in the Philippines.
In the Asia Pacific region, the Philippines obtained a higher ranking compared to Cambodia, which has a score of 21, Afghanistan with 19, and North Korea with 18.
But it paled in comparison to New Zealand, which ranks first with 88 points, Singapore, which is third with 85, and Australia, which ranks 11th with a score of 77.
"While Asia Pacific is diverse in both size and scale, most countries still struggle to improve their anti-corruption efforts," Transparency International said.
"Despite limited examples of progress, some bright spots exist where countries have made substantial gains to build integrity."
The index ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, according to experts and business people.
The 2020 CPI report highlights the impact of corruption on government responses to COVID-19, comparing countries’ performance in the index to their investment in health care and the extent to which democratic norms and institutions have been weakened during the pandemic.
New Zealand, Denmark, Finland, Switzerland, Singapore and Sweden were perceived as the top 6 least corrupt countries in the world.
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