The Philippines; a Slow Diminishing Country due to its Corrupt Leaders

It’s no wonder the Philippines continues to be a third world country. With corruption becoming increasingly rampant among the politicians and government officials, is there any descent person left to save the city from dwindling? Food for the thought to everyone out there!

Stories are often told to young ones of a country that existed long time ago when people were so simple and always ready to offer a helping hand to those in need while expecting nothing in return, a time when the City Mayor would tour the city streets without any escorts or bodyguards and the police forces who were civil, honest and ready to serve its people. Now, all that remains of that country is a skeleton and the sweet stories that still linger in the elderly mouths of a time that seem to have never existed for the present generation.

It is believed that the corruption rife begun in the 1970’s by the military who begun abusing their authority. Corruption in the Philippines is traced back during Marcos Regime where people in power starter abusing their authority. During those times, you’d find a mere sergeant posted in the finance department living like a millionaire in a big mansion and lots of luxuries.

So you can imagine, tracing back all the way from the seventies up to date. The rich still get richer while the poor become poorer.

As reported in the year 2008 by World Bank study, the Philippines corruption level is the worst amid the leading economies in East Asia. This has led to the country sinking lower than other unreformed countries. Corruption is and still remains to be a menace in the Philippines even though in 2009, the global watchdog Transparency International’s publication of Corruption Perceptions Index indicated that the country’s situation had revamped slightly. However, the latest SWS (Social Weather Stations) survey reported immense corruption in the public sector last year.

Based on these result, the percentage of corruption in the public sector rose to 56 from the previous year’s 43 percent. Even so, the SWS still claim that the figures on the assessed public sector corruption were still amid the least recorded since the year 2002. As discovered that corruption in the public sector has significantly increased, the number of replies indicating that majority companies in their own business sector issued bribes in order to obtain government contracts was ideally the same record as the previous year.

The people are forced to solicit bribes in order to acquire local and national government licenses and permits, observing import regulations, employing government incentives, collecting receivables from the government, supplying the government with services and goods and paying income taxes.

The purpose of conducting surveys is to establish if the people are aware of the administration’s anti-corruption efforts, if the government takes any measures for those who are found to partake in corrupt activities as a measure to eradicate corruption in the country and whether or not the measures put in place to help curb corruption are effective.

So what are the measures being put in place to diminish corruption in the Philippines?

The Philippines Transparency International reported that some of the factors that may contribute greatly to impede corruption are to improve government service and cut red tape. This group believes that the government’s attempts to prosecute the former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo may certainly influence the view on corruption for this conveys that the government means business. Of course this may tip the table on corruption but is it a permanent solution or will it just scare off the corrupt government officials for a limited time period before they surface again? I believe not.

Cutting the tail of a snake and it will grow a new one. I believe the only way to truly eliminate corruption in the Philippines is by chopping off the head of the snake. No corruption would exist if the people don’t pay up bribes to those corrupt people in power. A more permanent solution begins with you and me. The people have to be true to themselves and not encourage corruption by willingly paying off bribes. This may make a more lasting solution than pin-pointing every corrupt official in the government. Look at it from this view-point; they get sucked and replaced, then the person taking over becomes even more corrupt that the previous person. So instead of solving the problem, you’ve actually made it worse.

“One of the key issues the US government seeks to address under APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) is corruption in the Philippines,” reports one of the senior American diplomats. The US and China view corruption as a great, persistent problem that hinders development, free trade and economic exchanges in the region. So how can you continue to sustain growth without dealing with the problem first?

The US and China have commenced a law enforcement officials’ network involved in anti-bribery efforts in the APEC region as a means of sharing information and best practices. Earlier this month, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales represented Philippines in Beijing in the first APEC Network of Anti-Corruption Authorities and Enforcement Agencies meeting.

Wang reported that the initiative intends to comprehend the various legal systems, regulations and rules in the region in order to diagnose how the countries involved can eliminate corruption. It is expected of the APEC leaders to bring forth a set of principles on anti-bribery and implementations that will conceivably be embraced by the economies involved.

Wang believes that the guidebook will be something that will be fundamentally directed by the leaders on the things to be done come next year.

The APEC summit will be held in the Philippines in the year 2015 which will host fellow trade leaders and diplomats.

As for the Philippines, they can only be hopeful that the dream they once lived in their country will be a reality once more. The Philippines are waiting with bated breath to commence preparation for next year’s agenda and how it can be followed through starting now.

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