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    Corruption in The Philippines Essays

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    INTRODUCTION Our report covers the major effects of corruption in the economy of the Philippines. We focused on the many issues caused by corruption being faced by the government today. We also included some essays and opinions from several users online. The first part of our report is the definition of corruption and its cause. To introduce our topic, we first defined what corruption is. We included a definition taken from the website of Philippine Anti-Graft Commission, the government agency tasked to weed out corruption on the government. There were also various definitions of corruption on the first part of our report.

    We also included the definition of political corruption and the different causes of corruption. These topics are further discussed on the first part. The second part indicated the various effects of corruption to the various sectors of the government. It also shows the effect of corruption not only on the government but to the people as well. The third part of this report includes different articles and essays found on the net. The authors of these essays are merely internet users, some professionals, who shared their opinions about corruption.

    The fourth part is the compilation of the different corruption cases in the Philippines. These are the projects that are said to be overpriced but still was approved by the administration. It also discussed the summary of the issues and the impacts caused by these projects. The fifth part is the analysis of the 3rd part. We quoted some statements from the essays and from that statement we analyzed the possible effect of corruption. The last part contains the conclusions. After the analyzing the information, we have come up with the results and the major effects of corruption to our economy.

    Part 1: DEFINITION OF CORRUPTION AND ITS CAUSE WHAT IS CORRUPTION? Corruption involves behavior on the part of officials in the public sector, whether politicians or civil servants, in whom they improperly and unlawfully enrich themselves, or those close to them by misuse of the public power entrusted to them. There are two types of corruption: 1. State capture/grand corruption is the condition when institutions, policies and regulations of the state are subject to purchase by private interests, which involves enormous amounts of ill-gotten wealth.

    This involves high amounts and high-ranking officials. 2. Petty/administrative corruption involves small amounts for payments of routine public services to be delivered or expedited, or for payoffs for small infractions. While grand corruption causes more damage than petty corruption, this does not mean that nothing should be done to minimize petty corruption. But, whether grand or petty, both are considered evils of society and results to profound consequences that affect all of us. (Phil. Anti-Graft Commission)

    As one of the oldest and most perplexing phenomenon in human society, political corruption exist in every country in the contemporary world and it is not exclusively a problem of developing countries. The classical concept of corruption as a general disease of the body politics was stated by ancient political philosophers Plato and Aristotle. Plato in his theory of the “perverted” constitutions-Democracy, oligarchy, and tyranny-worried that these regimes instead of being guided by the law were serving the interest of the rulers. These fundamental general notions of corruption all practically define corruption as dysfunctional. For it is seen as destructive of a particular political order, be it monarchy, aristocracy, or polity, the latter a constitutionally limited popular rule, and thus by definition devoid of any function within a political order. ” This classic conception of corruption continued into modern times, and is central to the political thought of Machiavelli, Montesquieu and Rosseau. For Machiavelli corruption was process by which the virtue of the citizen was undermined and eventually destroyed. Since most men are weak and lacking in the virtue of the good citizen except when inspired by a great leader, the process of corruption is ever threatening. And when virtue has been corrupted, a heroic leader must appear who in rebuilding the political order infuses this virtue into the entire citizenry. ” Arnold Heidenheimer (1993 p. 25) Montesquieu saw corruption as the dysfunctional process by which a good political order is perverted into evil one and a monarchy into a despotism. According to Rosseau political corruption is a necessary consequence of the struggle for power.

    Then he argued “that man had been corrupted by social and political life. It is not the corruption of man which destroyed the political system but the political system which corrupts and destroys man. ” Arnold Heidenheimer (1993 p. 25) There is an agreement between the views of Rosseau and Lord Acton that “all powers tends to corrupt and absolute powers corrupts absolutely. ” Lord Acton is focused on the moral depravity which power is believed to cause in man, “they no longer think about what is right action or manner, but only about which is expedient action or manner. Arnold Heidenheimer (1993 p. 16) According to Carl Fredrich (1972 p. 18) “Corruption is a kind of behavior which deviates from the norm actually prevalent or behaved to prevail in a given context, such as the political. It is deviant behavior associated with a particular motivation, namely that of private gain at public expense. ” So he stated the concept of corruption in a way that constitutes a break of law or of standards of high moral conduct. Jacob Van Klavaren (1954, p. 5) defines corruption as the exploitation of the public. And he brought very interesting explanation taking a public official as an economic subject who, as every economic subject, tries to miximise his gain or income. Supposing that the income derived from the free-market agreement with the functional-economic income. In a system of free competition, there can be market equilibrium if both sides of the market, sellers and buyers, are equally strong and two exchange curves intersects.

    However, if there is a monopolistic condition on one side of the market, the monopolist will try to get the maximum profit from the other side. So the income of public official, who as an economic agent regards his office as a business, “does not depend on his usefulness for the common good but upon the market situation and his talent for finding the point of maximal gain on the public’s demand curve. ” Thus the “corruption is always an exploitation of the public, which can occur only because the civil servants occupy a constitutionally independent position vis-a-vis the public. There have been a number of different attempts at defining corruption. However no precise definition can be found which applies to all forms, types and degrees of corruption, or which would be acceptable universally. According to Oxford English Dictionary (OED) the term corruption in political context is defined as “Perversion or favor, the use or existence of corrupt practices, especially in a state, public corruption, etc. ” One of the most popular definition of corruption was given by Leslie Palmier (1983, p. 207).

    According to this definition corruption is seen as the use of public office for private advantage. According to Friedrich (1966, pp. 174-5) the use of public office for private advantage is not always widely perceived in a given society to be corrupt. “Particularly if an individual making personal gain is simultaneously making a positive contribution to the society-there is no necessary contradiction between private advantage and contributing to the general good-many citizens will see such actions as at least acceptable and sometimes even just reward. Considering the conflict that can arise between an abstract definition of corruption and its application to a complex real world some writers have distinguished between what can crudely be called good, bad and ambiguous corruption. For example, Katsenelinbogen (1983, p236) identifies two basic types of corruption. 1. Actions whose harmful effects on society are questionable. According to Katsenelinbogen, this form of corruption involves redesigning the system and legalizing the appropriate actions of people in it. 2. Actions that unambiguously harm society.

    Such acts should be treated as corrupt and criminal. ” Then Arnold Heindehmer (1970 pp. 3-28) goes further and identifies three basic categories of corruption ‘black’, ‘white’ and ‘gray’. Depending on the level of commonality of perception of a given act by public officials and citizens. ‘White’ acts are more or less accepted by both groups, whereas ‘Grey’ acts are those about which both officials and citizens disagree. ‘Black’ acts are perceived as wrong by both officials and citizens. It is evident from the above discussion that there is a wide range of definitions of corruption.

    For our further discussion about the forms of corruption we take the definition given by Leslie Palmier (1983, p. 207) use of public office for private gain. This definition is both simple and sufficiently broad to cover most of the corruption that we face, and it is also widely used in literature. Public office offers many opportunities for private gain. Bribes are one of the main tools of corruption. The Oxford English Dictionary defines a bribe as “a reward given to pervert the judgment or corrupt the conduct. A bribe consists of an offer of money by an outside party to secure desired action from the governmental officials. Bribes can influence the choice of private parties to supply public goods and services and the exact terms of those supply contracts. According to Robert Thobabeen (1991, p. 62) buying contracts can be called also Kickbacks “when government officials may use their bargaining power with contractors and their discretion in awarding contracts to obtain a fee or service charge for arraigning the contract.

    A percentage, usually 5 percent, of the contracts is returned or kicked back to the public officials by the contractor. ” According to World Bank report (1997 p. 20) “Bribes can influence the allocation of monetary benefits (for evasion, subsidies, pensions, or unemployment insurance. ) Bribes can be used to reduce amount of taxes or other fees collected by government from private parties. In many countries tax bill is negotiable. Bribes may be demanded or offered for the issuance of license that conveys an exclusive right, such as a land development concession or exploitation of a natural rescores.

    Sometimes politicians and bureaucrats deliberately put in place policies that crate control rights, which they profit from by selling. Bribes can speed up the government’s granting of permission to carry out legal activities. Bribes can alter outcomes of the legal and regulatory process, by inducing the government either to fail to stop illegal activities or to unduly favor party over another in court or other legal proceeding. ” The converse of bribery is extortion, the abuse or threat of power in such a ways to secure response in payment of money or other valuable things.

    Extortion according to the Oxford English Dictionary “is the act or practice of extorting (defined as either to wrest or wring from a person, extract by torture or to obtain from a reluctant person by violence, torture, intimidation, or abuse of legal or official authority, or – in a weaker sense by importing, overwhelming arguments or any powerful influence) or wresting especially money, from a person by force on by undue exercise of authority or power. ” Another type of corruption is the misuse of public property and funds. Control of property provides opportunities for mismanagement and corruption.

    An extreme form is the large-scale “spontaneous” privatization of state assets by enterprise managers and other officials in some transition economies. According to Leslie Holmes (1999, p. 5) the process of privatization which is ultimately implemented by the state provides new opportunities to state officials. They can demand or request bribes and kickbacks from private agents interested in purchasing a formerly state-owned business. At the other end of the scale is petty theft of items such as office equipment and stationary, vehicles and fuel.

    The perpetrators of petty theft are usually middle and lower-level officials, compensating, in some cases, for inadequate salaries. Theft of government financial resources is another form of corruption, officials may pocket tax revenues or fees (often with the collusion of the payer, in effect combining theft with bribery) steal cash from treasures, extend advances to themselves that are never repaid, or draw pay for fictitious “ghost” workers, a pattern well documented in the reports of audit authorities. For example former Philippines president Ferdinant Morcos was accused of stealing millions of dollars, much of it in American foreign aid.

    In another example in Iran-Contra affair in which profits from the sale of US government property (antitank and antiaircraft missiles) were diverted to private arms dealers and to counterrevolutionaries in Latin America. Robert Thobabeen (1991, p. 63) brings another form of corruption Influence Peddling when individuals with access to people in high places are sometimes tempted to trade on the influence of high ranking government officials. “There is money to be made through sale of access, the arrangement of contracts and timely intervention to secure favorable disposition of regulatory decisions and government contract.

    The use of these kinds of connections for personal gain is usually described as influence peddling. ” Patronage is another form of corruption. The assignment of government positions to political supporters has long been a practice in politics. While civil service regulations at the national and state level may effectively curtail the number of patronage jobs, political appointments remain at the top levels of government and provide a legitimate way for elected politicians to influence bureaucracy through the appointment of legal executive officials.

    The process becomes corrupt when appointees are expected to pay for their jobs. The custom of rewarding wealthy campaign contributors with appointments as ambassadors has been traditional in presidential politics. Leslie Holmes (1993, p. 205) brings three major forms of patronage. These are the following. Nepotism In this context “is the granting of public office on the bases of family ties. ” This is a good example of a point where different cultures have very different attitudes towards some forms of corruption. Shared experience “there the patron and client have usually worked together in the past and are on good terms nd the patron promotes or has promoted the client on the basis of these past experience and warm relationship. ” Shared Interest In this case, “the patron does not have common experience with someone he she wishes to promote, but rather a common interest” (for example, they both come from the same republic and/or are of same ethnic group; they both favor a large increase in defense expenditure in contrast to what others want, they are of the same gender. ) Corruption in a society can be rare or widespread. If it is rare, consisting of a few individual acts, it is straightforward to detect and punish.

    In such cases noncorrupt behavior is the norm, and institutions in both the public and private sector support integrity in public life such institutions, both formal and informal, are sufficiently strong to return to a noncorrupt, equilibrium In contrast, corruption is systemic where bribery, or a large or small scale, is routine in leading between the public sector and firms or individuals. Where systemic corruption exists, formal and informal rules are at odds with one another bribery may be illegal but is understood by everyone to be routine in transactions with the government.

    There are many countries in which bribery characterizes the rules of the game in private public interactions. What is Political Corruption? Political corruption is the use of legislated powers by government officials for illegitimate private gain. Misuse of government power for other purposes, such as repression of political opponents and general police brutality, is not considered political corruption. Neither are illegal acts by private persons or corporations not directly involved with the government. An illegal act by an officeholder constitutes political corruption only if the act is directly related to their official duties.

    Forms of corruption vary, but include bribery, extortion, cronyism, nepotism, patronage, graft, and embezzlement. While corruption may facilitate criminal enterprise such as drug trafficking, money laundering, and human trafficking, it is not restricted to these activities. The activities that constitute illegal corruption differ depending on the country or jurisdiction. For instance, certain political funding practices that are legal in one place may be illegal in another. In some cases, government officials have broad or poorly defined powers, which make it difficult to distinguish between legal and illegal actions.

    Worldwide, bribery alone is estimated to involve over 1 trillion US dollars annually. A state of unrestrained political corruption is known as a kleptocracy, literally meaning “rule by thieves”. (wikipedia) CAUSES OF CORRUPTION Leslie Holmes (1993 p. 157) the causes of corruption divides into three categories, cultural, psychological, and system-related. Cultural factor: “In many countries certain types of corruption are more or less acceptable often depending on the scale in the traditional political culture. ” Some countries have more of a reputation for corruption particularly because of traditional attitudes towards family, kinship, etc.

    The other factor of causing corruption is psychological factor. There are number of psychological factors that help to explain some types of corruption. Taking into account the internal factors of individuals some individuals are “naturally evil” and will commit criminal acts, including corrupt ones in any type of system. The external factors, individual’s relationship to the group is also important. According to Holmes (1993, p. 165) “the power of both peerpressure and peer-comparison can be great, for instance in the words of one artist “when the best of people take bribes, isn’t it the fool who doesn’t? In other words if individuals see others around them benefiting from corruption, they may well choose to indulge too. ” Human weakness also may cause corruption. Some people find it difficult to reject offers from a person of a “generous” nature. Some officials will accept gifts because they know they have been particularly helpful to someone and either feels they “deserve” a reward (that is they feel that a reward is not inappropriate), or else genuinely do not want to offend or embarrass a grateful supplicant. According to Holmes (1993) “nepotism also as a form of corruption can be explained in psychological term. The blood is thicker than water” syndrome wanting to help one’s family. Nepotism can be explained in terms of individuals seeking to maximize their own power and the lust for power is a psychological variable. ” System related factors: One of the factors that distinguishes post-communist states from transitional societies elsewhere is that they have been undergoing multiple and simultaneous transitions since the collapse of communist power in 1989-1991. In addition they had to introduce fundamental economic, legal, ideological and social change.

    Many also had to redefine their boundaries and identities, and realign themselves in international military and trading block. The sheer scope of attempted change is one significant reason why most post-communist states have suffered a severe legislative lag in the past decade. This lag has meant that laws have often been either in essence non-existence or else vague and contradictory. This situation is ripe for both corruption and organized crime. When officials have monopoly power over provision of a government good it is crucial for explaining the incidence of corruption without theft.

    Monopoly power could exist for the legal reason that a certain officials are the only charged with performing a certain task. Whether an official will be in a favorable position to extract bribes from clients depends not only on whether they have a monopoly over their particular activity, but also upon the rules and regulations regarding the distribution of government goods. The greater the amount of discretion which is given to an agent, the more opportunities there will be for agents to give “favorable” interpretations of government rules and regulations to businesses in exchange for illegal payments.

    For example in terms of the level of discretion, when a custom agent is allowed to apply one of several tariff rates to a product, or when a tax inspector is given substantial room to decide whether companies are given deductions or not, there will be an incentive to demand a bribe in exchange for offering favorable treatment. Asymmetries of information present principles with a challenge in that they often find it difficult to monitor the actions of agents effectively and hold them accountable for their actions when they fell to carry out an assigned task.

    Political structure is crucial element in the evolution of corruption. Political structures where representative processes to enforce governmental accountability are weak or absent would be expected to provide the greatest opportunities for corruption. The judicial system also has an important role in giving opportunities for corrupt acts. But it is very important the degree of separation of power between judiciary and government because it may have very significant influence on judiciary system in playing its key role. The poor drafting of laws and regulations also creates many opportunities for corrupt acts.

    For example, imprecise drafting and ill-defined terminology gives tax inspectors and custom officers a large margin of discretion, which they use to extract bribes. Particularly at the regional and local government level, tax requirements may be undocumented or not publicly available. Part 2: MAJOR EFFECTS OF POLITICAL CORRUPTION Effects on politics, administration, and institutions Corruption poses a serious development challenge. In the political realm, it undermines democracy and good governance by flouting or even subverting formal processes.

    Corruption in elections and in legislative bodies reduces accountability and distorts representation in policymaking; corruption in the judiciary compromises the rule of law; and corruption in public administration results in the inefficient provision of services. More generally, corruption erodes the institutional capacity of government as procedures are disregarded, resources are siphoned off, and public offices are bought and sold. At the same time, corruption undermines the legitimacy of government and such democratic values as trust and tolerance. Economic effects

    Corruption undermines economic development by generating considerable distortions and inefficiency. In the private sector, corruption increases the cost of business through the price of illicit payments themselves, the management cost of negotiating with officials, and the risk of breached agreements or detection. Although some claim corruption reduces costs by cutting red tape, the availability of bribes can also induce officials to contrive new rules and delays. Openly removing costly and lengthy regulations are better than covertly allowing them to be bypassed by using bribes.

    Where corruption inflates the cost of business, it also distorts the playing field, shielding firms with connections from competition and thereby sustaining inefficient firms. Corruption also generates economic distortions in the public sector by diverting public investment into capital projects where bribes and kickbacks are more plentiful. Officials may increase the technical complexity of public sector projects to conceal or pave the way for such dealings, thus further distorting investment. Corruption also owers compliance with construction, environmental, or other regulations, reduces the quality of government services and infrastructure, and increases budgetary pressures on government. Economists argue that one of the factors behind the differing economic development in Africa and Asia is that in the former, corruption has primarily taken the form of rent extraction with the resulting financial moved overseas rather invested at home (hence the stereotypical, but often accurate, image of African dictators having Swiss bank accounts).

    In Nigeria, for example, more than $400 billion was stolen from the treasury by Nigeria’s leaders between 1960 and 1999. University of Massachusetts researchers estimated that from 1970 to 1996, capital flight from 30 Saharan countries totaled $187bn, exceeding those nations’ external debts. (The results, expressed in retarded or suppressed development, have been modeled in theory by economist Mancur Olson. ) In the case of Africa, one of the factors for this behavior was political instability, and the fact that new governments often confiscated previous government’s corruptly-obtained assets.

    This encouraged officials to stash their wealth abroad, out of reach of any future expropriation. In contrast, Asian administrations such as Suharto’s New Order often took a cut on business transactions or provided conditions for development, through infrastructure investment, law and order, etc. Environmental and social effects Corruption facilitates environmental destruction. Corrupt countries may formally have legislation to protect the environment; it cannot be enforced if officials can easily be bribed.

    The same applies to social rights worker protection, unionization prevention, and child labor. Violation of these laws rights enables corrupt countries to gain illegitimate economic advantage in the international market. The Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen has observed that “there is no such thing as an apolitical food problem. ” While drought and other naturally occurring events may trigger famine conditions, it is government action or inaction that determines its severity, and often even whether or not a famine will occur.

    Governments with strong tendencies towards kleptocracy can undermine food even when harvests are good. Officials often steal state property. In Bihar, India, more than 80% of the subsidized food aid to poor is stolen by corrupt officials. Similarly, food aid is often robbed at gunpoint by governments, criminals, and warlords alike, and sold for a profit. The 20th century is full of many examples of governments undermining the food security of their own nations – sometimes intentionally. Effects on Humanitarian Aid

    The scale of humanitarian aid to the poor and unstable regions of the world grows, but it is highly vulnerable to corruption, with food aid, construction and other highly valued assistance as the most at risk. Food aid can be directly and physically diverted from its intended destination, or indirectly through the manipulation of assessments, targeting, registration and distributions to favor certain groups or individuals. Elsewhere, in construction and shelter, there are numerous opportunities for diversion and profit through substandard workmanship, kickbacks for contracts and favoritism in the provision of valuable shelter material.

    Thus while humanitarian aid agencies are usually most concerned about aid being diverted by including too many; recipients themselves are most concerned about exclusion. [6] Access to aid may be limited to those with connections, to those who pay bribes or are forced to give sexual favors. Equally, those able to do so may manipulate statistics to inflate the number beneficiaries and siphon of the additional assistance. Other areas: health, public safety, education, trade unions, etc. Corruption is not specific to poor, developing, or transition countries.

    In western European countries, there have been cases of bribery and other forms of corruption in all possible fields: under-the-table payments made to reputed surgeons by patients willing to be on top of the list of forthcoming surgeries, bribes paid by suppliers to the automotive industry in order to sell poor quality connectors used for instance in safety equipment such as airbags, bribes paid by suppliers to manufacturers of defibrillators (to sell poor quality capacitors), contributions paid by wealthy parents to the “social and culture fund” of a prestigious university in exchange for it to accept their children, bribes paid to obtain diplomas, financial and other advantages granted to unionists by members of the executive board of a car manufacturer in exchange for employer-friendly positions and votes, etc. Examples are endless. These various manifestations of corruption can ultimately present a danger for the public health; they can discredit certain essential institutions or social relationships. Corruption can also affect the various components of sports activities (referees, players, medical and laboratory staff involved in anti-doping controls, members of national sport federation and international committees deciding about the allocation of contracts and competition places).

    There have also been cases against (members of) various types of non-profit and non-government organizations, as well as religious organizations. Ultimately, the distinction between public and private sector corruption sometimes appears rather artificial and national anti-corruption initiatives may need to avoid legal and other loopholes in the coverage of the instruments. Part 3: COMPILATION OF RELATED ARTICLES Philippine Graft and Corruption: Decades of Plunder Have Dramatically Stunted National Development By Gary W. Elliott The misuse of public money for private gain poses a very grave challenge to national development in the Philippines, and the magnitude of the problem is staggering.

    Among the challenges to national development in the Philippines are graft and corruption, which are manifested in many various forms including bribery, kickbacks, embezzlement, vote buying, cronyism, and nepotism. Additionally, corruption facilitates criminal enterprises such as black marketing and illegal gambling syndicates, both also prevalent. Corruption has both political and socio-cultural roots: the political system and its institutions allow graft and corruption to flourish, but it is people, not institutions, who are robbing government funds. This article attempts to give an idea of the magnitude of the problem, while subsequent essays will focus on how some political institutions foster graft and corruption, and on socio-cultural aspects which seem to encourage taking opportunities to steal public funds.

    The Marcos regime, which has been described as a kleptocracy, literally “rule by thieves,” made the Guinness Book of World Records in the late 1980s as the most corrupt government of all time. Fortunately, the situation has improved. In 2006, Transparency International, the Berlin-based non-profit, non-partisan organization founded in 1993 to curb corruption in international transactions, rated the Philippines less corrupt than 51 of 163 nations, but ranking among Asian nations is not good. The only Asian nations in 2006 receiving a worse rating than the Philippines from the Political & Economic Risk Consultancy, Ltd. (PERC), a Hong Kong firm specializing in strategic business information and analysis, were Indonesia and Vietnam.

    In 2007, the Philippines dropped to last place of the 13 Asian economies studied by PERC. So, the Philippines have a relatively poor ranking, but quantifying graft gives a better idea of the impact on the nation. In September 1998, President Estrada said stealing would waste roughly 100 billion pesos (approximately USD2. 5 billion), which translates to about 20% of the national budget proposed for 1999! In June 1999, President Estrada consistently applied this percentage, stating that 24. 1 billion pesos (about USD600 million), or 20% of all government project funds spent the previous year, were lost to graft and corruption. The following month, Philippine Ombudsman Aniano Desierto claimed the government lost 1. trillion pesos (perhaps USD100 billion, varying exchange rate over 11 years) since 1988 when the Office began investigating government corruption, and continues to lose 100 million pesos daily, or 36. 5 billion (roughly USD940 million) annually. (The Office of the Ombudsman is a special independent body to support the principles of honesty, integrity, and public accountability and to serve as the people’s protector and watchdog. ) Although there is some variance in the figures, they serve to indicate the scale of graft. It is difficult to quantify other costs of corruption, such as potential revenue lost to thriving black market industries, and foreign and domestic capital, businesses, and jobs these businesses would have created, all sources of new tax revenue, lost due to the high-risk investment climate caused by corruption.

    Additionally, it is likely that the many billions of pesos (estimated at 13 billion annually [8]) collected by illegal gambling syndicates, which could not operate without government acquiescence, come mainly from the poor who most need the government’s help and protection. Billions allocated to infrastructure projects, community development, and improving the lives and health of the Filipino people have gone into individuals’ pockets, or Swiss bank accounts, instead of designated projects. This travesty results in untold misery now, and guarantees more in the future. We can only imagine what the country would look like if these funds had been properly spent, but certainly there would be less poverty and more “island paradise. ” The officials who squander the country’s resources have a stranglehold on the development and prosperity of the entire nation. ????? Graft and Corruption by: Joy Lucero

    Graft and corruption is a problem of the past, present and future public administrators, but with this article we have a grasp of things that actually happens in and out public offices. We cannot deny the fact that most if not all officials as well as rank and file employees are grafters and corruptors. Graft and corruption is a rampant and wide malpractice among government agencies whether in the national, local, government-owned, or controlled cooperation’s. It is already a part of our culture, a bad habit, and foremost and among others, it is deeply rooted and embedded among the Filipinos. Graft and corruption is one of many important and unresolved problems of a public administrator.

    Government officials are ruined by different kinds of people from elective to appointed, from permanent or regular to casuals, substitutes and contractual. They also differ in their skills, talents, personality, economic strata and values as a whole. Their needs depends to what position they actually hold, be it pure clerical to a money involved position that can abets graft and corruption. Graft is the acquisition of money, position, etc by dishonest or questionable means, by taking advantage of public officer to obtain fees, perquisites, profits on contracts or legislation, or pay for work not done, or service not performed. It is singly committed.

    Corruption is an improper consideration to commit a violation of duty, impairment of integrity, virtue or moral principle. It is done in collusion with others. I therefore conclude that graft and corruption nowadays is relevant and widely practiced in and out of government offices, and that it is also rampant and already a system that cannot be eradicated overnight. During the martial law period in the Marcos regime, it is evidently stopped or partly succeeded in the first three years (1972-1975), but once again, officials as well as employees go backsliding to the old ways. They do abuse of discretion and power, arrogance, aloofness as well as discourtesy in the performance of their duty.

    And lastly, it is a form of way to acquire more wealth by conspiring with each other. This is done by merely cooperating with the heads of various departments and offices that are also corrupt. There is a saying that “it is better to dance with the music” if you want to stay in your post. For if you don’t, chances are if the majority who are corrupt might get irritated with you, then there will time that they will find ways to terminate your services. Or if your not happy with the system, then, its time for you to resign and complain them. So the impressions now for the government workers are that they are labeled and branded, grafters and corruptors.

    Even if the leadership is honest and dedicated to the people, if the people around him are corrupt, then there is no chance in the political situation. We only dressed the crocodile with the new suit. ????? Rich become richer, poor poorer in Philippines MANILA, July 21 Kyodo The family income gap between the rich and the poor has widened in the Philippines in the past four years, a recent government report showed, suggesting an urgent need for effective poverty-alleviation programs. According to preliminary results of the latest Family Income and Expenditures Survey by the National Statistics Office, the average national family income in 1997 amounted to 123,881 pesos (2,978 U. S. dollars), up 49% in nominal terms from 1994.

    The average family income adjusted for inflation of 23. 1% improved significantly, increasing by 21%. Moreover, the real average family income rose at an annual rate of 6. 6% from 1994 to 1997, outpacing the economic growth during the period, it said. But so has the income disparity between the haves and the have-nots. It said the richest 10% of the country’s more than 70 million population held 39. 7% of the total family income in 1997, up from 35. 5% in 1994, while the poorest 10% had only 1. 7% in 1997, down from the 1. 9% in 1994. In 1994, the richest 10% had income that was 19 times that of the poorest 10%, on average. But in 1997, the richest 10% had 23. 8 times more than the poorest 10%.

    Recent studies show that poverty in the Philippines is a consequence of the highly inequitable distribution of incomes and assets. “Income distribution in the Philippines is substantially less equal than that in most low and middle income countries in Asia,” a World Bank report on poverty said. An estimated 8. 9 million Philippine families live below the poverty line, a study of the U. N. Children’s Fund said. Six out of 10 Philippine children are born to families who live near or below the poverty line, making poverty a major deterrent to child survival, growth and development, it said. The Philippine National Economic and Development Authority defines the poverty line as an annual income of 11,312 pesos for a family of six.

    A 1997 Philippine Human Development Report said that in 1994, 35. 5% of all families, or 40. 2% of the entire population, were officially considered poor. “This remains a high figure, but represents a significant improvement over the incidence of poverty in 1985, which stood at 49. 2%,” it said. Studies predict that poverty will increase in urban areas as the population is expected to grow at a higher rate in those areas until the end of the century. “This will exacerbate the incidence of poverty among urban dwellers, raising the urgency of effective poverty-alleviation programs,” one of the study reports said. Poverty, however, is more extensive and severer in the countryside.

    The World Bank study said that more than half of the rural population — accounting for nearly two-thirds of the country’s total population — is poor. The rural poor are mostly engaged in the agriculture, fishery, and forestry sectors and have at the best an elementary school education, it said. “The depth of poverty is nearly two-and-a-half-times worse in rural areas than in urban areas,” the bank report said. Philippine President Joseph Estrada has vowed to modernize agriculture and further improve infrastructure in a bid to stamp out poverty during his term. Estrada has also vowed to abolish the pork barrel funds of congress members and senators — a major source of graft and corruption in the Philippines.

    Former Budget Secretary Salvador Enriquez said as much as 45% of the pork barrel funds — intended for building roads, bridges and the like projects — end up in the pockets of the legislators. The Philippines is estimated to have lost 48 billion dollars due to corruption over two decades, draining the cash-strapped government of much-needed funds to finance programs to alleviate the plight of the poor. The slowing down of the economy, brought about by the currency crisis that has pounded the region since July last year, is expected to push the country’s poor further into the quagmire of poverty. Economists say the crisis, the unabated graft and corruption, and the ballooning Philippine population — growing at 2. % annually — will make it difficult for the government to wage war on poverty. ????? Gloria and God in the Philippines By Cher S Jimenez/Asia Times MANILA – Mounting popular calls for President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s resignation on corruption charges have sharply divided the Philippines’ politically powerful Roman Catholic clergy into pro- and anti- government camps. Now new charges that the embattled premier may have curried favor with certain influential religious groups with alleged secret cash handouts threaten to further escalate the political conflict and sully the clergy’s reputation as a source of moral authority amid the country’s rough and tumble politics.

    Numerous scandals have stuck to Arroyo’s administration, starting with her alleged rigging of the 2004 elections, the alleged use of the country’s fertilizer fund to finance her campaign drive, and now charges that her husband and a close political associate received millions of dollars worth of kickbacks on a US$329 million state broadband Internet infrastructure deal tendered to the Chinese-run ZTE Corporation. The tainted project has since been canceled, but the political controversy has intensified through a series of raucous anti-government street protests and the widely respected Catholic clergy now finds itself uncomfortably caught in the middle. The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippine (CBCP), a collegial and influential body of 131 top bishops, after a marathon emergency meeting in late February, failed to support the political opposition’s and civil society groups’ calls for Arroyo’s ouster.

    A statement released from that meeting said that while the bishops broadly condemned corruption, which they concurred had reached the president’s office, the religious group would stop short of calling on the president to step down. They did, however, ask the president to repeal Executive Order 464 – which she has since done – which barred government officials from testifying before an ongoing Senate inquiry into the botched infrastructure deal without her permission. The CBCP’s seemingly contradictory statement on top-level corruption came as a surprise to many Catholic devotees, which apart from spiritual guidance have looked on the clergy for moral guidance during times of political confusion. There is a growing sense among some Filipinos that the clergy’s political judgment could be clouded by government money doled out to church donation boxes.

    While the CBCP has long condemned all forms of gambling, casino and lottery revenues are often distributed to influential bishops and church groups. However, a controversial CBCP meeting in 2006, where an envoy to the Presidential Palace reportedly handed out envelopes full of cash to the group’s bishops, has now awakened large sections of the population to the extent of Arroyo’s possible patronage to the clergy. Charges, unsubstantiated, of money changing hands now hound Arroyo every time she meets with influential clergy members, including when a group of priests from her home province encircled and spoke special prayers to her the day before an interfaith mass rally on February 29. At no point in the Philippines’ modern history has the Catholic clergy been so politically divided.

    Bishops have openly debunked each other’s political views, including Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos, an influential clergyman from Butuan province and member of the CBCP, who warned the head of the clergy, Iloilo Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, that he stands to get ousted from his post for airing anti-government statements without prior consultation with the CBCP. While the CBCP has released a number of pastoral statements during its biannual meetings, stating the clergy’s position on the various scandals involving Arroyo, it was the first time that the so-called Mindanao and Northern Luzon blocs of the clergy had come out to express their all-out support for Arroyo. That unified regional stand from the two influential blocs was unprecedented, according to church sources.

    On the other side of the godly divide, priest Robert Reyes, a well-known Arroyo critic, has said that the CBCP’s refusal to take on the voice of the people in opposition to the government has “reduced the clergy to irrelevance”. Several senior clergy members were seen in attendance at recent mass anti-government interfaith prayer rallies held in Manila, including CBCP leader Lagdameo. Archbishop Oscar Cruz, a former CBCP president, said recently that the division among the clergy is “not a question of faith and morals, where we are united, but of a judgment call on the ethical dimension of a government”. Bishop Broderick Pabillo, meanwhile, was seen at the February 29 interfaith rally, but refused to go on stage or entertain media interviews.

    Pabillo, head of the CBCP’s social arm, sat beside Rodolfo Noel Lozada Jr, the opposition’s whistleblower in the ZTE corruption case, when he first presented himself to the media after coming out of hiding in Hong Kong due to concerns for his personal safety. The fractured clergy marks a stark contrast to the pivotal role men of the cloth played in mobilizing the masses in 1986, when so-called people’s power rallies overthrew Ferdinand Marcos’ authoritarian and corrupt government. Then the clergy rallied around the straight-talking Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin, who emerged as a force of moral authority for the disenfranchised masses; today, no such charismatic figure has emerged to check or challenge Arroyo’s legitimacy. Friends in high places That’s in part because Arroyo has deftly played the religion card.

    The Philippines is a predominantly Catholic country and senior bishops have in the past flexed their moral authority to affect political outcomes, including elections and crucial laws and legislation. But a series of controversial incidents, many involving financial links to Arroyo’s administration, has called the clergy’s own legitimacy into question. Nueva Vizcaya Bishop Ramon Villena recently admitted in a newspaper report that the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), the lottery run by the Office of the President, had given him 1. 6 million pesos (US$39,000) to build a hospital for the poor in his home province. However, the total assistance given to Villena’s province, according to the report, was 3. 2 million pesos.

    The report also showed that the Catholic Church-run Radio Veritas received more than 2 million pesos in ad placements from the PCSO, which while not necessarily a new development, represented a huge increase in the amount of government funds doled out for similar initiatives in the past. “That gifts or money would blind the eyes of bishops and seal their lips to gross corruption when solidly proven would be a tragic contradiction to their experience as pastors at Edsa I and Edsa II,” said Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Quevedo, a former CBCP president, referring to the clergy’s participation in past people’s power movements which overthrew corrupt governments. The CBCP’s current president, Lagdameo, while quiet on previous scandals involving Arroyo and despite the issuance of carefully worded joint CBCP statements, has personally attacked the mbattled premier since the ZTE scandal broke out. Two of his statements called on the people to engage in “communal action” and get involved in a “brand new people power”, which was interpreted by many as calling for a new people’s power movement. Lagdameo’s statements were strongly criticized by pro-Arroyo bishops. Before Lagdameo took the CBCP’s helm, its previous leader, Fernando Capalla, was a personal friend to Arroyo. Church insiders say that Capalla, who also sat as one of the government’s peace negotiators in talks with Muslim secessionists, was frequently escorted by presidential guards from the airport whenever he flew into Manila.

    It was thus notable, some say, that during Capalla’s tenure when explosive vote-rigging charges against Arroyo broke that the bishops did not support calls for her resignation or impeachment. When a government agent who claimed responsibility for wiretapping a conversation between Arroyo and a senior election official in 2004 in which the two appear to have predetermined vote counts for various constituencies across the country took refuge at a Manila seminary, Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales ordered that he be turned over to the military. Rosales, who is a relative to one of Arroyo’s closest aides, has admitted in press interviews that he has received a 1 million peso donation from the Presidential Palace for his various livelihood projects targeting Manila’s poor populations.

    As successor to the incorruptible Cardinal Sin, many Filipinos have looked on Rosales to be a strong voice against government abuse. Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, who was the CBCP’s president when the clergy called for a civil disobedience campaign after Marcos rigged the results of 1986 snap elections against Corazon Aquino, has likewise shot down calls for the clergy to endorse Arroyo’s resignation. Despite his key role in orchestrating Marcos’ ouster, the senior clergyman has said a declaration against Arroyo is beyond the clergy’s authority and should be left to the political opposition. Where bishops have failed to take a unified stand, Catholic nuns notably have in their statements and actions.

    For instance, they have stood guard around Lozada, the key opposition witness in the Senate inquiry into the ZTE scandal, to provide divine protection against possible assassination – a move that evoked images of activist nuns holding rosaries and blocking military tanks during the Philippines’ first people’s power revolution in 1986. Most of the nuns belonged to the Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines, a network of 200 congregations with a long track record of involvement in national sociopolitical issues, dating to the period of martial law in the 1970s. But then, as now, the nuns lack the clout of the bishops, which Arroyo has effectively divided and ruled to her political advantage. ????? ‘We can do much more for our country’ By Gemma Dimaculangan Philippine Daily Inquirer

    First Posted 02:07am (Mla time) 03/23/2008 Filipinos know that their country is not in good shape because of corruption and other problems. Unless moderated, kickbacks can account for at least a third of the cost of government projects, resulting in shoddy roads and bridges, lack of medicines in public hospitals, unused telecommunication equipment, shortage of schools and teachers, among others. Allegations that Malacanang officials are involved in massive corruption have triggered a political crisis. Many people have expressed disgust over the greed of the officials, who deny the allegations. Among them is Gemma Dimaculangan, who describes herself as an ordinary citizen.

    Doing what she calls “something concrete,” she has written a letter she posted on the Internet to let others know that there are “Filipinos who dream of something better for the Philippines. ” Titled “To all Filipinos everywhere,” the letter lists what parents, teachers, students, graduates, young professionals and other citizens should do to achieve that dream. –Ed. MANILA, Philippines—I used to think that corruption and criminality in the Philippines were caused by poverty. But recent events tell me this isn’t true. It is one thing to see people turn into drug addicts, prostitutes, thieves and murderers because of hunger and poverty, but what excuse do these rich, educated people have that could possibly explain their bizarre behavior?

    And to think I was always so relieved when petty snatchers got caught and locked away in jail because I never fully realized that the big time thieves were out there, making the laws and running our country. Can it get any worse than this? Every night, I come home and am compelled to turn on my TV to watch the latest turn of events. I am mesmerized by these characters. They are not men. They are caricatures of men—too unreal to be believable and too bad to be real. To see these “honorable” crooks lambast each other, call each one names, look each other in the eye and accuse the other of committing the very same crimes that they themselves are guilty of, is so comical and appalling that I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. It is entertainment at its worst!

    Criminals in ‘barong’ I have never seen so many criminals roaming around unfettered and looking smug until now. These criminals wear suits and barong, strut around with the confidence of the rich and famous, inspire fear and awe from the very citizens who voted them to power, bear titles like “Honorable,” “Senator,” “Justice,” “General” and worse, “President. ” Ironically, these lawless individuals practice law, make our laws, enforce the law. And we wonder why our policemen act the way they do! These are their leaders and the leaders of this nation—Robin Hoodlum and his band of moneymen. Their motto? “Rob the poor, moderate the greed of the rich. It makes me wonder where on earth these people came from, and what kind of upbringing they had to make them act the way they do for all the world to see. It makes me wonder what kind of schools they went to, what kind of teachers they had, what kind of environment would produce such creatures who can lie, cheat and steal from an already indebted country and from the impoverished people they had vowed to serve. It makes me wonder what their children and grandchildren think of them, and if they are breeding a whole new generation of improved Filipino crooks and liars with maybe a tad more style but equally negligible conscience. Heaven forbid!

    Taxpayer I am an ordinary citizen and taxpayer. I am blessed with a job that pays for my needs and those of my family’s, even though 30 percent of my earnings go to the nation’s coffers. Just like others with my lot, I have complained time and again because our government could not provide enough of the basic services that I expect and deserve. Rutted roads, poor educational system, poor social services, poor health services, poor everything. But I have always thought that was what all Third World countries were all about, and my complaints never amounted to anything. And then this. Scandalous government deals. Plundering presidents pointing fingers.

    Senators associated with crooks. Congressmen who accept bribes. Big-time lawyers on the side of injustice. De Venecia ratting on his boss only after his interminable term has ended, Enrile inquiring about someone’s morality! The already filthy rich Abalos and Arroyo wanting more money than they or their great grandchildren could ever spend in a lifetime. Joker making a joke of his own “pag bad ka, lagot ka! ” slogan. Defensor rendered defenseless. General Razon involved in kidnapping. Security men providing anything but a sense of security. And it’s all about money, money, money that the average Juan de la Cruz could not even imagine in his dreams.

    Is it any wonder why our few remaining decent and hardworking citizens are leaving to work in other countries? And worst of all, we are once again saddled with a power-hungry President whose addiction has her clinging on to it like barnacle on a rusty ship. “Love (of power) is blind” takes a whole new meaning when PGMA time and again turns a blind eye to her husband’s financial deals. And still blinded with all that is happening, she opts to traipse around the world with her cohorts in tow while her country is in shambles. Disgust They say the few stupid ones like me who remain in the Philippines are no longer capable of showing disgust. I don’t agree.

    Many like me feel anger at the brazenness of men we call our leaders, embarrassment to share the same nationality with them, frustration for our nation and helplessness at my own ineffectuality. It is not that I won’t make a stand. It is just that I am afraid my actions would only be futile. After all, these monsters are capable of anything. They can hurt me and my family. They already have, though I may not yet feel it. But I am writing this because I need to do something concrete. I need to let others know that ordinary citizens like me do not remain lukewarm to issues that would later affect me and my children. I want to make it known that there are also Filipinos who dream of something better for the Philippines.

    I want them to know that my country is not filled with scalawags and crooks in every corner, and that there are citizens left who believe in decency, fairness, the right to speak, the right to voice out ideas, the right to tell the people we have trusted to lead us that they have abused their power and that it is time for them to step down. Summon power of good I refuse to let this country go to hell because it is the only country I call mine and it is my responsibility to make sure I have done what I could for it. Those of us who do not have the wealth, power or position to battle the evil crime lords in government can summon the power of good.

    We can pray. We can do this with our families every night. We can offer petitions every time we celebrate Mass. We can ask others to pray, too, including relatives and friends here and overseas. And we can offer sacrifices along with our petitions, just so we can get Him to hear our message that we are desperate in ridding our nation of these vermin. After all, they cannot be more powerful than God! I implore mothers out there to raise your children the best way you can. Do not smother, pamper, or lavish them with too much of the material comforts of life even if you can well afford them. Teach them that there are more important things in this world.

    Teach kids honesty, fair play I beg all fathers to spend time with their children, to teach them the virtues of hard work, honesty, fair play, sharing, dignity and compassion—right from the sandbox till they are old enough to go on their own. Not just in your homes, but at work, in school, everywhere you go. Be good role models. Be shining examples for your children so they will learn to be responsible adults who will carry and pass on your family name with pride and honor. I call on educators and teachers—we always underestimate the power of your influence on the minds of our youth. Encourage them to be aware of what is happening in their surroundings.

    Instill in them a love of their country, inculcate in them the value of perseverance in order to gain real, worthwhile knowledge, help us mold our children into honorable men and women. Encourage our graduates, our best and brightest, to do what they can to lift this country from the mire our traditional politicians have sunk us into. The youth is our future—and it would be largely because of you, our educators, that we will be able to repopulate the seats of power with good leaders, presidents, senators, congressmen, justices, lawmakers, law enforcers and lawful citizens. I ask all students, young people and young professionals everywhere to look around and get involved in what is happening. Do not let your youth be an excuse for failure to concern yourselves with the harsh realities you see.

    But neither let this make you cynical, because we need your idealism and fresh perspective just as you need the wisdom of your elders. YOUR COUNTRY NEEDS YOU! Let your voices be heard. Do what you can for this land of your ancestors and your heritage. Use technology and all available resources at hand to spread good. Text meaningful messages to awaken social conscience. Try your best to fight moral decay because I promise you will not regret it when you become parents yourselves. You will look back at your past misdeeds and pray that your children will do better than you did. Remember that there are a few who are capable of running this country. You can join their ranks and make their numbers grow. We are tired of the old trapos.

    We need brave idealistic leaders who will think of the greater good before anything else. Do your utmost to excel in your chosen field. Be good lawyers, civil servants, accountants, computer techies, engineers, doctors, military men so that when you are called to serve in government, you will have credibility and a record that can speak for itself. For love of this country, for the future of our children, for the many who have sacrificed and died to uphold our rights and ideals, I urge you to do what you can. As ordinary citizens, we can do much more for the Philippines than sit around and let crooks lead us to perdition. We owe ourselves this. And we owe our country even more. Gemma Dimaculangan is a medical technologist working in Metro Manila. ) ????? Doing much for the country By Conrado de Quiros Philippine Daily Inquirer First Posted 00:29:00 03/27/2008 I COULDN’T agree more with what Gemma Dimaculangan said last Sunday. Dimaculangan, a medical technologist living in Metro Manila, posted a letter on the Internet to express her thoughts about the current situation, which became this newspaper’s Talk of the Town’s featured piece (“We can do much for our country”). Dimaculangan begins by making her disgust known in no uncertain terms–indeed in the most heartfelt terms. “I have never seen so many criminals roaming around unfettered and looking smug until now.

    These criminals wear suits and barong, strut around with the confidence of the rich and famous, inspire fear and awe from the citizens, bear titles like “Honorable,” “Senator,” “Justice,” “General,” and worse, “President. ” After several more paragraphs devoted to her thought, Dimaculangan says: “They say the few stupid ones like me who remain in the Philippines are no longer capable of showing disgust. I don’t agree. Many like me feel anger at the brazenness of men we call our leaders …. ” We are not powerless before this, said Dimaculangan. We can meet this bane by summoning Good. Quite apart from imploring God to heed our prayers and send a few thunderbolts in the right direction, or “rid our nation of these vermin,” as she herself puts it, we can do several things.

    We can, as parents, students, teachers, professionals, and ordinary folk teach and/or learn the right values, the better to push back the forces of darkness. I leave the reader to go more lengthily into Dimaculangan’s proposals. I’ve only a couple of caveats to add to her piece. The first has to do with her diagnosis of the symptoms and the second with her prescription for a cure. I completely agree that what we are witnessing today is corruption of staggering proportions. And I thought it was inspired that our editors tacked on the same page accompanying Dimaculangan’s article a news item that drove home her point. That item was the Political and Economic Risk Consultancy’s survey reaffirming the Philippines’ standing as the most corrupt country in Asia.

    That is truly an accomplishment of world-class proportions, if a horrendously unsavory one. To be more corrupt than China or India or Pakistan or Indonesia or Cambodia is to pillage far more monumentally than the countries that invented monuments. It is a monument to infamy in and of itself. But as the PERC itself says, what makes the Philippine case unique–“sad” is the word it charitably uses–is not just the quantity of the corruption but the quality of it. PERC sees the difference as the Philippines openly discussing the numerous perfidies in the media whereas the other Asian countries, for one reason or another, are unable to do so. That is a minor difference from where I stand.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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