The Philippines has been tagged as a “significant decliner” in Transparency International’s latest Corruption Perception Index (CPI) that was released this week.
The country has dropped two places, ranking 117th out of 180 countries, in the past year, according to the annual global corruption report.
The Philippines earned a score of 33 out of 100, its lowest since 2012 and below the global average of 43 and the Asia-Pacific region’s average of 45.
“With a score of 33, the Philippines is a significant decliner, having lost five points since 2014,” said the report.
It noted that since the election of President Rodrigo Duterte in 2016, “the Philippines has also seen a sharp decline in freedom of association and freedom of expression, making it harder to speak up about corruption.”
The Philippines lagged behind some of its Southeast Asian neighbors in the CPI, namely Singapore (4th), Malaysia (62nd), Timor-Leste (82nd), Vietnam (87th), Indonesia (96th), and Thailand (110th).
In Asia-Pacific, Transparency International noted that corruption levels appear to be at a standstill, with 77 percdent of countries seeing a decline or made little progress in the last decade.
The CPI uses a scale of 0 to 100, wherein 100 indicates that a country has a “very clean” record while 0 means a government is “highly corrupt.” The country scored 34 in 2020 and 38 in 2014, its highest.
Sharing the the 117th spot with the Philippines are Algeria, Egypt, Nepal, and Zambia.
Denmark, Finland, and New Zealand topped the CPI after scoring 88, while, Singapore led the Southeast Asia region.
Ilham Mohamed, Asia regional advisor of Transparency International, “little has changed in the last 10 years” in the Asia Pacific region despite protests against corruption.
She said “populist and autocratic leaders” have “co-opt[ed] anti-corruption messaging to stay in power and restrict civil liberties to stop people from taking to the street.”
“With weakening anti-corruption institutions, or in some cases none at all, the region is failing to uphold human rights and address corruption,” Mohamed added.
The CPI ranks 180 countries by their “perceived levels of public sector corruption, according to experts and business people.”
The report said the CPI is calculated using 13 different data sources from 12 different institutions that capture perceptions of corruption within the past two years.