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Genuine, drastic reforms in drive vs corruption urged

CITIZENS Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC) party-list Reps. Eduardo
Bro. Eddie” Villanueva and Domeng Rivera have urged the government to
go back to the drawing board aimed at introducing genuine and drastic
reforms in its campaign against corruption and red tape.

Villanueva and Rivera made the statement following the Philippines’
seeming deteriorating ranking in the recently released 2020 Corruption
Perception Index (CPI) by the global watchdog Transparency

It’s high time for the government to take genuine even drastic
reforms to address this issue. It must be a strong
signal to the government that it needs to go back to the drawing board
to examine its anti-corruption efforts, either they are not performing
enough or we’re missing the right solutions to the problem,” said Villanueva, a Deputy Speaker for Good Governance and Moral Uprightness.

What is more worrying and disturbing is that the CPI 2020 report was
done during the height of pandemic and community quarantines last year
which indicated that corruption in the country chooses no season nor
consideration; it keeps on thriving anywhere and anytime – endemic and
unabated,” added Villanueva.

We call on the certification as urgent of the Freedom of Information
(FOI) bill which CIBAC has been championing ever since because an FOI
law will certainly institute the culture of openness, transparency and
accountability in the government. This will make our citizenry an
informed and educated people which we all believe is the most
effective antidote to corruption in the government,” he urged.

For his part, Rivera said it is very crucial for the government
to arrest the problem of unabated corruption, particularly in this time
of pandemic when almost all are counting on the government’s help as
Filipinos grapple for survival.

The 2020 CPI report reflects that corruption is a real and
ever-present problem which can make the COVID-19 pandemic efforts of
the government short of attaining its desired results. It is apparent
that there is always a great chance that government resources cannot
be translated into meaningful and essential services hence depriving
our citizens with the rightful public goods that they deserve. We thus
call on our people to always be vigilant and be at the forefront of
the fight against corruption,” said Rivera.

In the 2020 CPI report, the Philippines retained its score of 34, the
same as its 2019 rank but slipped to 115th place from 113th last year
out of the 180 countries included in the study.

It shows that the country remains below the average score for the Asia
Pacific which is 45, they said.

The CPI scores countries and territories by their perceived levels of
public sector corruption using a scale of zero to 100, with zero as
highly corrupt” and 100 as “very clean.

It is very disappointing to know that we have not made any progress
at all in our fight against corruption. Despite the government’s
strong pronouncements on curbing it and the high-profile exposes and
investigations we have seen, the CPI report simply shows that it is
business as usual for corrupt government officials and employees in
the government,” said Villanueva.