Still holding on!

                              (click image to enlarge)

The results of the annual Corruption Perception Index (CPI) survey done by the Berlin-based Transparency International (TI) recently came out. The CPI is the only annual survey that sorts out country corruption levels on a global scale. A CPI score near 10 is categorized as least corrupt, and a score near 1 is more corrupt.

For 2010, the Philippines scored 2.4 and ranked 134th out of 178 countries included in this year's survey.

With this score and rank, the Philippines is part of the 12 most corrupt countries in the world, together with Azerbajian, Bangladesh, Honduras, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Togo, Ukraine and Zimbabwe.

In 2009, the Philippines scored the same CPI (2.4) but ranked 139th out of 180 countries, thereby making it as one of the 13th most corrupt countries in the world.

The country is showing some resilience as it has been holding on since 2008 (see Hold on, Philippines).

Somalia is still at the bottom rung scoring 1.1 in CPI, making it the most corrupt in the world for this year. Interestingly, Somalia held on to this post with the same score in 2009 also.

The top post (least corrupt countries) is shared by Denmark, New Zealand and Singapore with all 9.3 in CPI for this year. Last year, Denmark singly topped the rank with a 9.4 CPI.

In Southeast Asia, the Philippines got worse. With its CPI score and rank, the country holds the position of the 3rd most corrupt in Southeast Asia, next only to Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos. In previous years, the Philippines is better off but has been overtaken by Indonesia, Vietnam and Timor-Leste for this year. Both the Philippines and Timor-Leste are the only predominantly Catholic countries in Southeast Asia.

1. Singapore (9.3)
2. Hong Kong (8.4)
3. Taiwan (5.8)
4. Brunei (5.5)
5. Malaysia (4.4)
6. Thailand (3.5)
7. Indonesia (2.8)
8. Vietnam (2.7)
9. Timor-Leste (2.5)
10. Philippines (2.4)
11. Cambodia (2.1) and Laos (2.1)
12. Myanmar (1.4)
Globally, the Philippines is resiliently holding on (sans the Southeast Asia caveat) for the past 8 years. It has maintained a steady pattern of 2.4-2.6 CPI range from 2002 up to 2010. In 2005-2007, the country showed a steady course for a 3-year CPI of 2.5.

Despite all the unresolved national scandals, the steady pattern is a relieving sigh, although we hardly recovered from the drastic fall of 1999-2002. Our highest CPI is 3.6 (1999), sharply fell to 2.8 (2000), slightly rose to 2.9 (2001) and fell again to 2.6 (2002). During this period, the country was still reeling from the consequences of the Erap Impeachment and the precursor of widespread irregularities in the Estrada Administration.

With the renewed hope and more collective action to resolve current scandals and combat corruption under the Aquino Administration, let us all hold on and hope that our steady pattern in CPI will leap us back to the level of 1999 (3.6).

We have six years!