ULY 15, 2013 (TRIBUNE) Written by Tribune Editorial - The resilience of the administration of Noynoy against the enactment of the Freedom of Information (FoI) bill and the Whistle-blowers Protection Act (WPA) were used as showcases in a recent global survey for Noynoy’s lack of resolve in ending the culture of corruption in the country.

Transparency International (TI) released the other day a comprehensive report on the results of the survey it had conducted among Filipinos to get their views regarding the extent of corrupt practices in major institutions that included business and media, aside from the government.

Despite the hype about a supposed crusade to end corrupt practices in government with Noynoy’s tuwid na daan and walang corrupt, walang mahirap slogans, Filipinos still view the level of corruption in a critical level with half of his term over as really bad, considering the 4.4 mark out of 5, which is the most serious, or worst.

Government institutions were rated dismally in terms of transparency, with the police and public officials rated as leaders in the field of corrupt practices.

While 38 percent of respondents had the view that the government is exerting effort to reduce the level of corruption, still those polled gave a rating of 4.4 out of a maximum 5 on the extent of irregularities they see or hear around them.

TI Philippines said that while measures were undertaken “to tread the straight path that President Aquino promised the public, the passage of the FoI bill and the WPA — two most basic and most important pieces of legislation promised in the Philippine Development Plan — remained in limbo.”

The local poll was contained in the Global Corruption Barometer survey which the TI said involved 114,000 individuals worldwide and which is being done biennially to feel the pulse of the public on how the people perceive efforts of their leaders and sectors of their society to combat corruption.

The highlight of the results of the survey on the Philippines was that Filipinos acknowledge that efforts are being made by the administration of Noynoy against corrupt practices, likely as a result of Noynoy’s frequent head bashing of his predecessor Gloria Arroyo and the ousted Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona, yet their perception of pervasive corruption in government, resulting in the high level of corruption rating given, has not changed.

It is again the same sentiment that Filipinos exhibit on the much played-up growth figures under Noynoy which is that they do not sense the supposed high economic numbers in their daily lives.

The official explanation for this disconnect is that it takes time for the trickle-down effect of economic growth to be felt by ordinary individuals. Apparently that would be the same line to be taken by Noynoy and his apologists in Malacañang which is that the anti-corruption efforts would take time to make an imprint on people’s lives.

The other explanation for both phenomena in the economic and the transparency field not making an impact on the populace, however, is that all that is being dished out by Noynoy is nothing but well-packaged but hallow words.

Take the case of the transparency issue, in which the TI said the supposed commitment to end corruption does not reflect in the reluctance of the administration of Noynoy to enact the FoI and WPA laws.

Had the commitment been there, both measures would have long been part of the law. It is another way of saying that Noynoy’s inaction speaks louder than his hypes.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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