By Czeriza Valencia, January 28, 2020; The Philippine Star

https://www.philstar.com/business/2020/01/28/1988261/neda-urges-public-join-anti-corruption-campaign

Manila, Philippines — After the Philippines fell 14 notches in the 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) of Transparency International, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) has urged the public to increase participation in anti-corruption campaigns and refrain from spreading false information.

The Philippines placed 113th out of 180 countries in the CPI, down by 14 spots from its 2018 ranking. This translates to a percentile rank of 37.2, falling short of the 2019 target in the 2017-2022 Philippine Development Plan (PDP).

The Philippines scored 35 points out of 100 in terms of perception of corruption in the public sector, lower than the score of 36 points out of 100 in 2018. The country’s score thus reverted to its 2017 and 2012 levels.

Within ASEAN, the country’s ranking fell to seventh out of 10 countries, only ahead of Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia. Its previous ranking was fifth in the region in 2018.

Transparency International attributed the decline in the perceived shortcomings of exercising the full democratic rights of citizens and stakeholders in the country.

Other than reporting incidences of corruption, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and NEDA chief Ernesto Pernia also emphasized the need to stop the proliferation of false information to the public.

“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. 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,” Pernia said.

He added that technology will be crucial in simplifying procedures to expedite the processing and prosecution of cases.

“The government should also enhance inter-agency 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.

“Reinforcing Filipino ’malasakit’ values and proper information and education among citizens will also help in influencing perception and behavior,” he added.

The PDP Midterm Update, which will be published within this quarter, details strategies to ensure clean and efficient government.

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