MANILA -- Filipinos can expect less corruption as the administration of President Rodrigo R. Duterte is relentless in combatting it, the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) said.
This, as the Philippines gained its best score in five years in the 2018 Corruption Perception Index (CPI).
"We expect to see significant improvement in the CPI ranking and scores in the coming years. However, more than indices and rankings, we want the Filipino to know and feel the end of corruption in the government under President Duterte," ARTA Deputy-Director General Ernesto V. Perez said in a statement late Wednesday.
Perez said the improvement in the country's rankings is proof that the Duterte administration's efforts against corruption are bearing fruit.
He said the President's signing of Republic Act 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery that created ARTA aims to improve the delivery of services by penalizing non-compliant and slow government agencies.
The law has required government agencies to act on applications within three days for simple transactions, seven days for complex ones and 20 days for the highly technical.
"With ARTA, the law has teeth. ARTA will be relentless in fulfilling its mandate to assist government agencies enhance their capabilities and at the same time run after those who fail to process applications or requests within designated period. We expect that more will be done in addressing the eradication of corruption in the country," he said.
Perez cited the importance of a "zero-contact policy" to leave no room for corruption.
In the CPI report released by anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International Tuesday, the Philippines scored 36 points for 2018 from 34 in 2017, climbing 12 notches from 111th to 99th place out of 180 countries.
The study had a scale of zero to 100, where zero is “highly corrupt” and 100 is “very clean.”
Transparency International, in its report, said the CPI "aggregates data from a number of different sources that provide perceptions by business people and country experts of the level of corruption in the public sector."
Combatting corruption in government is one of the major campaign promises of Duterte when he ran for office in 2016. (PNA)
Art by Rene Eleveda/Cebu Daily News