By CHINO S. LEYCO
The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said yesterday that the country needs to increase public participation in its anti-corruption initiatives to curtail corruption in the country.
The Philippines placed 113th out of 180 countries in the 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), dropping 14 spots from its position in 2018, translating to a percentile rank of 37.2, falling short of the 2019 target in the 2017-2022 Philippine Development Plan (PDP) Results Matrix.
In terms of score, the Philippines garnered 34 points out of 100, which is lower from its 36 points out of 100 score in 2018. This means that the country reverted to its 2017 and 2012 levels.
For this reason, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said the country must improve engagement with its citizens to build trust and confidence in the government.
“Stamping out corruption must be done as a nation, everyone has a role to play to free our country from the shackles of corruption,” Pernia said in a statement.
In the ASEAN, the country declined to the 7th place out of 10 countries; its previous ranking was 5th in 2018. The Philippines experienced the steepest decline in percentile rank this year at -7.78 notches.
Transparency International, which publishes the annual CPI, attributed the decline in the perceived shortcomings of exercising the full democratic rights of citizens and stakeholders in the country.
“Let us encourage our citizens to report incidents of corruption through the 8888 hotline. But we also appeal to people to promote integrity by not giving false information,” Pernia said.
“While we encourage the use of technology through mobile and web platforms to increase access and improve awareness of anti-corruption initiatives, we also need to emphasize the need to be responsible,” he added.
The NEDA chief also said that technology will be crucial in simplifying procedures to expedite processing and prosecution of cases.
“The government should also enhance interagency and multi-stakeholder cooperation to ramp up its anti-corruption initiatives and increase impact. These could improve public perception and satisfaction with government services,” Pernia said.