Corruption in the Philippines
Corruption is very prevalent in the Philippines. It’s a part of the Filipino daily lives. In short, it is a way of Filipino life.
Based on the Philippine Star, news about the World Bank report on bribery and bid-rigging found on World Bank road projects worries some big donor countries. They are closely monitoring the investigation on the anomalous projects and the assistance to the country will be subjected for review and a possible foreign aid cut is expected.
According to Wikipedia, corruption is essentially termed as an “impairment of integrity, virtue or moral principle; depravity, decay, and/or an inducement to wrong by improper or unlawful means, a departure from the original or from what is pure or correct, and/or an agency or influence that corrupts.
It connotes evil, malignance, sickness, and loss of innocence or purity.
It can also be described as the abuse of public power for private benefits, usually in the form of bribery. Corruption also refers to misallocating resources and slowing economic development. Furthermore, according to Transparency International, there is a high correlation between corruption and low economic development.
Based on Transparency International, the cost of corruption is four-fold: political, economic, social, and environmental.
- On the political front, corruption constitutes a major obstacle to democracy and the rule of law. In a democratic system, offices and institutions lose their legitimacy when they are misused for private advantage.
- Economically, corruption leads to the depletion of national wealth. It is often responsible for the funneling of scarce public resources to uneconomic high-profile projects, such as dams, power plants, pipelines and refineries, at the expense of less spectacular but more necessary infrastructure projects such as schools, hospitals and roads, or the supply of power and water to rural areas. Furthermore, it hinders the development of fair market structures and distorts competition, thereby deterring investment.
- The effect of corruption on the social fabric of society is the most damaging of all. It undermines people’s trust in the political system, in its institutions and its leadership. Frustration and general apathy among a disillusioned public result in a weak civil society. That in turn clears the way for despots as well as democratically elected yet unscrupulous leaders to turn national assets into personal wealth. Demanding and paying bribes become the norm. Those unwilling to comply often emigrate, leaving the country drained of its most able and most honest citizens.
- Environmental degradation is yet another consequence of corrupt systems. The lack of, or non-enforcement of, environmental regulations and legislation has historically allowed the North to export its polluting industry to the South. Environmentally devastating projects are given preference in funding, because they are easy targets for siphoning off public money into private pockets.
In a democratic country, the governing power is mandated by the people. These government officials are entrusted with power and this power is supposed to be used to benefit the society. But, if this power is utilized for personal benefits, therefore, it is defined as “corruption”. Corruption slows down economic and social development. It affects the quality of public services and infrastructure and raises the prices of goods and services. And, for all of these, it is the poor who suffer the most.
Corruption must be fixed. It has to be confronted and contained. Matter-of-fact, we cannot completely eradicate corruption, but, we can decrease it. And the initial aim is the national level. Top to bottom approach as corruption in this level greatly affects the society. By doing this, a ray of light might pierce the darkness thus giving new hope for the Filipino people.