In the Philippines: Fighting Corruption Most Cited Concern Among Business Leaders in Choosing Next President
March 10, 2010
On February 19, the results of the ninth Enterprise Survey on Corruption in the Philippines were released to the public. As campaigning heats up in the Philippines for national elections in May, a particular finding is worth pointing out: 75 percent of business managers feel that “fighting corruption” is an important concern in choosing a presidential candidate.
For nearly a decade, the Enterprise Survey on Corruption has provided a unique snapshot of the Filipino business sector’s perspectives on corruption and good governance. Since 2000, The Asia Foundation has partnered with Social Weather Stations, the Philippines’ foremost non-profit, nongovernment data generation organization, to conduct a series of surveys to examine the attitudes and actual experiences of businesses with regard to public and private sector corruption.
This data helps the Filipino public track businesspeople’s perceptions of corruption, the perceived sincerity of government agencies in fighting corruption, and the actual business practices of the private sector. The surveys have proven to be especially important tools in raising consciousness about the costs of corruption, pointing out the need for critical reforms, and measuring the effectiveness of counter-corruption efforts. The results have also served as important indicators used by development organizations, academic institutions, government agencies, and civil society to measure progress in the fight against corruption.
In contrast to most international corruption indices, such as the most recent report by the Hong Kong-based Political & Economic Risk Consultancy Ltd. (PERC), which often survey expatriate managers or the broader general public, the Enterprise Survey focuses specifically on Filipino business managers operating in the Philippines. The survey interviews are conducted in-person and face-to-face with business managers. This round covered 550 managers from five different areas of the Philippines. The responses are based on personal experience, and therefore the data are a fairly accurate proxy for actual levels of corruption. Moreover, since many of the respondents are sampled from year to year, the responses allow for useful comparisons over time.
Among the notable findings for 2009 were:
- 75% of business managers feel that “fighting corruption” is an important concern in choosing a presidential candidate.
- 78% of business managers agree that passage of a law on the right to information will help to reduce corruption.
- 19% of managers report that companies in their line of business always pay taxes honestly, and 21% report that companies in their line of business keep only one set of accounting books (both figures are nearly unchanged in the past five years).
- A majority indicated that procedures at city/municipal government offices are understandable and transparent, especially for business permits and licensing.
The 2009 Enterprise Survey on Corruption was first presented in Metro Manila and will be subsequently presented in Cebu and Davao. The presentation was hosted by the Asian Institute of Management -Hills Governance Center (AIM-HGC) and also featured a presentation by Professor Michael Johnston of Colgate University who spoke on Syndromes of Corruption and the fight against corruption. Download the Social Weather Stations presentation or download the full results of the 2009 survey.
Ky D. Johnson is The Asia Foundation’s Deputy Country Representative in the Philippines. He can be reached at [email protected].
About our blog, In AsiaIn Asia is a weekly in-depth, in-country resource for readers who want to stay abreast of significant events and issues shaping Asia's development, hosted by The Asia Foundation. Drawing on the first-hand insight of over 70 renowned experts in over 20 countries, In Asia delivers concentrated analysis on issues affecting each region of Asia, as well as Foundation-produced reports and polls.
In Asia is posted and distributed every Wednesday evening, Pacific Time and is accessible via email and RSS. If you have any questions, please send an email to [email protected].
ContactFor questions about In Asia, or for our cross-post and re-use policy, please send an email to [email protected].
The Asia Foundation
465 California St., 9th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94104
PO Box 193223
San Francisco, CA 94119-3223
THE LATEST ACROSS ASIA
The Philippines, China, the U.S., and ASEAN in 2017
October 19, 2016
Asia Foundation Development Fellows 2016 U.S. Component
October 13, 2016
Habitat III: Charting a New Urban Agenda
October 12, 2016
Mongolia’s Small-Scale Miners Play Critical Role in Safeguarding Natural Resources
October 12, 2016
Asia Foundation to Release Foreign Policy Recommendations for Next U.S. President
October 6, 2016
Asia Foundation Appoints Jane Sloane to Head Programs to Empower Women and Promote Gender Equality
October 6, 2016