Holding on!

(click image to enlarge)

THE Berlin-based Transparency International (TI) just recently released the annual survey results of the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) for 2009. The country's CPI level for this year is 2.4, holding the 139th position out of the 180 countries which participated in this year's survey.

Thus with this standing, the Philippines is part of the 13th most corrupt countries in the world for this year, joining Pakistan, Belarus and Bangladesh.

Somalia came out as the most corrupt country in the world for this year, with a score of 1.1 and rank of 180th. Not surprisingly, New Zealand came out as the least corrupt country this year with a score of 9.4 at the 1st rank.

A CPI score near 10 is categorized as least corrupt, and a score near 1 is more corrupt.

IN 2008 the Philippines scored 2.3 at the 141st rank, making it as one of the 12th most corrupt countries out of 180, joining Cameroon, Iran and Yemen.

Does this mean that the Philippines is making improvements, albeit slightly (or faintly), in its efforts to curb corruption in the country?

An online nationwide polling survey among various Ehem anticorruption networks from the period mid-August to mid-November revealed some mixed views. The poll question was: "The Philippines ranked as one of the 12th most corrupt countries in the world in 2008. Do you think the country will improve its standing for 2009?"

94 online voters participated in the poll, and their responses were distributed into:
  • 35 votes (37%) - Yes, it will improve
  • 40 votes (43%) - No, it will worsen
  • 19 votes (20%) - Not Sure
  • 94 votes (100%) - FINAL RESULT
The survey results showed mixed feelings of hopelessness (that it will worsen) and hopefulness (that it will improve), with a noticeable margin of uncertainty (not sure). The slight (and faint) positive and negative changes in its CPI score and ranking could also reveal that the country might just be holding on.

This is not the first time that the country exhibited a holding-on pattern, despite all the unresolved national scandals in the government. From the years 2002-2004, the Philippines registered 2.6-2.5-2.6 CPI behavior. This is a critical period because of the infamous Hello Garci Scandal that rocked the election of President GMA in 2004. And in the 2005-2007 period, the country maintained a three-year 2.5 score, despite its being one of the 10 most corrupt countries in the world during this time. Thus, with the 2.3-2.4 CPI improvement and from being one of the 12th most corrupt countries to becoming one of the 13th most corrupt nations in 2008-2009, who can object?

Yes, we all aspire for a better world standing. But with all the corruption scandals and the certainty of electoral frauds towards the national and local elections in 2010, our CPI standing could have been worse!

This could be resilience showing among Filipino people. Just like in natural disasters and man-made catastrophes in the country, Filipinos hold on rather than completely fall apart.

With all the tragedy of government scandals and the impunity of corruption, all the more that the Filipino people need to summon resilience and hold on!