Philippines: Corrupt Image Sticks

This is from the Tribune.(Manila)
Even though corrupt Arroyo is certainly a survivor! The Tribune never misses an opportunity to lambaste Arroyo and her government. If there is another state of emergency the Tribune can expect to be occupied again as it was the last time around. The article lists a few of the many scandals that have plagued the regime. Now Arroyo is busy trying to change the constitution so she can enrage the Tribune and many Filipinos for years to come! The press in the Philippines is not easily silenced.


Corrupt image sticks
EDITORIAL
10/10/2008
The world’s view on the country as being in a sorry state due to corruption and an ineffective government reverberates every single time a survey on the Philippines is done.
The uniformity of such views has become so regular that survey results on the country under the Arroyo administration have become so predictable.
The Global Competitiveness Report released the other day by the World Economic Forum (WEF) was no exception.
As expected, the country fared poorly in the annual survey, landing 71st out of 134 countries.
The only consolation, if it can be called that, was that the Philippines obtained the same ranking last year.
Under Gloria, however, maintaining a poor ranking on such surveys and not have it worsen over a year is perhaps already an achievement for her and her mediocre administration.
Those who participated in the survey, who are mostly prominent business figures in the 134 countries included, cited three major problems hobbling the country’s competitiveness. These are corruption, inefficient government bureaucracy and inadequate supply of infrastructure.
Time and again, it is these three major problems that have been cited, which can only mean that there has been no improvement or even effort at all in addressing in a concrete way, and not via propaganda on Gloria and her administration having made giant strides in curbing corruption, in their elimination of red tape and the claimed all-out move for mega infrastructure projects.
The three problems were again cited by 56.7 of those survey respondents asked to cite the most problematic factors for doing business in the country.
Common in the three problems cited was that all three involve the quality of governance under the Arroyo administration.
The WEF survey would be hard to refute and cannot be dismissed by Gloria and her cabal with stock responses such as the survey being based on outdated data or that it did not consider the supposed actions being taken to address the problem.
With the regularity of the indicting reports on the country, the Palace may have finally realized the inanity of disputing the unassailable since it has lately been admitting that a lot is needed to be done about corruption, but admitted as if Gloria and her cabal are not a major part of the problem.
The absolutely corrupt image of the country built up over the years as Gloria and her cabal shifted to high gear the plunder of government resources and the economy. And there is enough evidence on this, to name a few, the P3 billion fertilizer fund scam, the Northrail scam and the ZTE National Broadband Network project that was tainted with over a hundred million dollars in kickbacks and commissions.
While reports of corruption in the past were received by the public with incredulity, instances of government funds being ripped off by Gloria and her associates have become so common that resignation has become the usual public reaction.
The frequency of such irregularities has raised public tolerance on these crimes, making these part of Filipinos’ daily existence under Gloria.
While the whole nation stands aghast at the way corruption is eating away at the fiber of the Philippine society, courtesy of Gloria’s plunder-filled rule, most Filipinos, particularly the young, are unfortunately learning to accept it as given for those working in government.
Gloria’s patronage politics has engendered the growth of corruption in government.
Being in the good graces of Gloria assures people that corrupt ways are overlooked.
The promise of making a big killing while being on the side of Gloria has become the main draw of those wanting to join government.
The corrupt image on the country will stick until Gloria leaves government and will be remembered for decades and decades to come.
She is, after all, already branded as the “most corrupt” president the country has ever had.

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