Philippines Country Profile

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A Snapshot of Corruption in the Philippines 

Anti-corruption has certainly received high political priority under the current president Aquino's administration; several reforms have been taken and the prosecution of corrupt public officials has increased. In January 2012, President Aquino approved the Good Governance and Anti-Corruption Cluster (GGAC) plan for 2012-2016, which includes measures aiming to promote transparency and accountability in government operations. In 2012, the Senate approved the third and final reading of the Freedom of Information Bill. In addition, the same year also saw the passage of the Act to Further Strengthen the Anti-Money Laundering Law and the Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012. However, the effects of President Aquino's anti-corruption works are still minor and there exist implementation gaps. In fact, the New York Times reports in August 2013 that the Aquino government is now facing great pressure from citizens for failing its promise of fighting rampant corruption in the country after several high-profile corruption scandals have been exposed.

In general, corruption is said to take place at all levels of the government, but it is more rampant among high-level civil servants. For businesses, it is important to note that the country's complex, sometimes contradictory regulatory regime leaves room for corrupt civil servants to attempt to extract bribes. Several surveyed have also shown that companies generally have little confidence in the Philippine judicial system. The main reasons include the allegedly incompetent court personnel, corruption and long delays of court cases. There is a lack of transparency in the Philippines' public procurement, and bribes are often demanded from companies who wish to win government contracts as shown by Social Weather Stations' Survey of Enterprises on Corruption 2014. Another sector in which companies are particularly vulnerable is obtaining licenses and permits; Survey of Enterprises on Corruption 2014 shows that the most common type of private sector corruption was bribing local government officials in return for licenses and permits in 2012 and 2013

An extensive description of the levels of corruption within the Philippines' institutions and sectors are outlined in the profile's Corruption Levels. For a more detailed analysis of the Philippine government and civil society achievements in the fight against corruption, visit the Public Anti-Corruption Initiatives and Private Anti-Corruption Initiatives chapters.


Philippines Corruption News

  • The New York Times: 
           'Central Figure in Philippine Graft Case Surrenders', 29 Aug. 2013


Publication date: March 2014

Data verified by GAN Integrity Solutions