Wednesday, September 17, 2008

RP corruption worst in East Asia

Among the East Asian countries, the Philippines was hailed the most corrupt of them all by no less than the iconic World Bank. Far worst than the corruption in Indonesia, Vietnam and China, the country’s shameful corruption rating was even published with anguish: “World Bank Study: RP CORRUPTION WORST IN E. ASIA.”

But aside from the World Bank, one survey after another repeatedly confirm that the Filipinos themselves consider the incumbent administration as the most corrupt so far in history—including the unforgettable long years of Martial Law rule.

The same frustrating corruption rating of the present government has been corroborated by assessment of various respected institutions, including the German based “Transparency International” (TI), the Hong Kong based “Political And Economic Risk Consultancy” (PERC), and the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines that “Strongly condemned the continuing culture of corruption from the top to the bottom of the social and political ladder.”

This disturbing fact explains why foreign investors who deal business with the government have the guts to simply by-pass rules to avoid unnecessary aggravation and repentance. All they have to do is prepare a big amount of “lagay,” “tongpats,” and “bukol” for distribution to all public officials standing and waiting in line.

Such scenario makes no one wonder then why graft and corrupt practices abound in the Philippines. While work is scarce and crimes abound, corruption has influenced why salaries are low but prices of basic commodities are high and why there is little rice supply but illegal drugs are abundant.

Adding insult to injury in the fact that even a high-ranking public official in the present executive hierarchy shockingly insisted that there must be much more gambling in the Country to push for its socio-economic development. Claiming that invigorated gambling similar with those among progressive nations like Singapore and Malaysia, the same public official, pitifully forgot that the countries mentioned enjoy consistent positive ranking because of their government’s trademark of superior honesty and integrity—far different from what the Philippines government is always noted for.

And since it is said that the root cause of poverty in the Philippines is not population but corruption, the advocates and collaborators of those pushing for contraception – read “depopulation” – should instead work hard and campaign much to uproot corruption in the different branches of government.

Among other realities, the bigger the population gets, the more direct and indirect taxes the government can collects from its citizens from birth until death. Hence, the bigger becomes the bulk of public funds, and the more developmental projects are done.

Rightfully so, it is about time those who claim to be reproductive health advocates prove themselves to be such and not succumb to corrupt practices that only boost super garbage dumps plus super hunger instead of super region the Country aims to be.

+OVCruz, DD
September 17, 2008