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SWS 2012 Survey of Enterprises on Corruption: The fight against corruption has radically progressed from 2009

There has been radical progress in the fight against corruption, according to the preliminary report of the 2012 SWS Survey of Enterprises on Corruption, given at the Second Integrity Summit on September 18, 2012.

The 2012 SWS Survey of Enterprises is the tenth in a series since 2000, the last survey being in 2009. The 2012 round has the largest sample size (target 950 companies) and broadest area coverage (National Capital Region, Cavite-Laguna-Batangas, Metro Cebu, Metro Davao, Cagayan de Oro-Iligan, and, for the first time, Metro Angeles and Metro Iloilo) of all ten rounds.

The preliminary report, based on interviews of executives of 826 companies (281 large, 545 small/medium) over July 16 to September 14, 2012, shows a great deal of progress against corruption between 2009 and the present.

1. Executives seeing “a lot” of corruption in the public sector fell to 42% in 2012 from 64% in 2009, after having been 60% or more from the start in 2000. Since it fell in every area covered in 2009, for example falling in NCR to 51% in 2012 from 70% in 2009, the aggregate fall was not due to the changed area coverage in 2012.

2. Those saying that “most/almost all” companies in their own sector give bribes to win public sector contracts fell to 41% in 2012 from 48% in 2009, and was the lowest in all ten rounds since 2000.

3. Those with personal knowledge of corruption happening in the last three months in their own sector fell to 32% in 2012 from 37% in 2009, and was the lowest in five rounds since 2006.

4. When executives compare the present administration to the past one, 71% see less corruption now, and only 2% see more corruption now. When the general public compared the two administrations in an SWS national survey on May 24-27, 2012, 64% saw less, and only 5% saw more, corruption now.

5. Of 20 government institutions rated for sincerity in fighting corruption, 17 improved their net sincerity ratings (percent sincere minus percent insincere) from 2009 to 2012.

5.1. The most radical change is in the Office of the President, which improved in net sincerity in fighting corruption to an Excellent +81 in 2012, from a Bad -37 in 2009.

5.2. Two agencies have improved their sincerity ratings to Very Good, from Good: Department of Health, with +60 in 2012 versus a Good +37 in 2009; and Department of Trade and Industry, with +59 in 2012 versus a Good +38 in 2009.

5.3. Three institutions have improved their ratings to Good, from Neutral: Department of Education, with +49 in 2012, from Zero in 2009; the Senate, with +38 in 2012, from -1 in 2009; and the Office of the Ombudsman, with +38 in 2012, from -8 in 2009.

5.4. Of six institutions with Moderate ratings, four have improved: Sandiganbayan, with +27 in 2012, from a Neutral +8 in 2009; Department of the Interior and Local Government, with +27 in 2012, from a Poor -25 in 2009; Department of Budget and Management, with +22 in 2012, from a Poor -17 in 2009; and Department of Transportation and Communication, with +10 in 2012, from a Bad -30 in 2009. The other Moderates are: the City Government, with +24 in 2012, a drop from a Good +35 in 2009; and the Supreme Court, with +23 in 2012, a drop from a Good +40 in 2009.

5.5. The three institutions with Neutral ratings are all improved: Department of Environment and Natural Resources, with +1 in 2012, from a Bad -34 in 2009; the House of Representatives, with -2 in 2012, from a Bad -34 in 2009; and the Philippine National Police, with -8 in 2012, from a Poor -17 in 2009.

5.6. Of four institutions with Poor ratings, three have improved: Bureau of Internal Revenue, with -18 in 2012, from a Very Bad -57 in 2009; Department of Public Works and Highways, with -23 in 2012, from a Very Bad -65 in 2009; and Land Transportation Office, with -26 in 2012, from a Bad -39 in 2009. The fourth is Commission on Elections, with -14 in 2012, a drop from a Neutral -8 in 2009;

5.7. The sole institution with a Bad rating is the Bureau of Customs, which improved to -45 in 2012, from a Very Bad -69 in 2009. There is no longer any agency with a Very Bad rating in 2012.

[The SWS terminology for net ratings is: Excellent +70 and up, Very Good +50 to +69, Good +30 to +49, Moderate +10 to +29, Neutral-9 to +9, Poor -29 to -10, Bad -49 to -30, and Very Bad -69 to -50.]

6. Regarding prominent corruption cases in court (NBN-ZTE deal vs former Pres. Gloria Arroyo and former COMELEC Chairman Benjamin Abalos, PNP helicopters vs Atty. Mike Arroyo, malversation of funds vs former Pagcor Chairman Efraim Genuino, plunder vs former AFP Comptroller Maj. Gen. Garcia, and perjury vs Virgiliano Garcillano in relation to the “Hello Garci” scandal) the majority of executives see the cases as being conducted fairly, but at too slow a pace.

7. The proportion of executives solicited for any of seven types of bribes in the previous year is at a new low of 48% in 2012, from 60% in 2009 and a high of 71% in 2008. The 2012 solicitation rates for the various bribes probed are: Getting local government permits/licenses 30%, Assessment/payment of income taxes 26%, Getting national government permits/licenses 19%, Complying with import regulations/paying import duties 17%, Supplying government with goods/services 14%, Collecting receivables from government 13%, and Availing of government incentives 6%. The first three are all-time lows from the start in 2000; the rest are lows since 2005.

8. However, the rate of reporting of bribe solicitations remains very low (9%), and the main excuse is still the feeling of futility in doing so.

9. Although executives see less corruption in the private sector than in the public sector, the situation is also serious, and has not improved. The tendency of companies in their own sector to give bribes to win private contracts is more or less unchanged.

10. Although the executives still expect their profits to rise (by a median of 20%) if corruption is reduced to the level of Singapore, they still spend/contribute very little to the cost of fighting corruption.

11. The extent of honest business practices remains unsatisfactory in 2012, with no tendency to improve from the past. Regarding companies in their own sector, only 45% say that almost all demand receipts for their payments; only 32% say that almost all issue receipts for their revenues; only 20% say that almost all pay taxes honestly; and only 21% say that almost all keep only one set of books.

12. Business prospects for the next two years have never been better, with 74% of the executives seeing them as either excellent or good; 71% are satisfied, and only 12% are dissatisfied, with the national government’s efforts to promote a good business climate.

The 2012 Survey of Enterprises on Corruption was supported by Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) through The Asia Foundation (TAF), and done in partnership with the Makati Business Club’s Integrity Initiative program and the National Competitive Council. Fieldwork is proceeding until the target sample size of 950 companies is reached, on which the final report will be based. Surveys of enterprises on corruption were not done in 2010-2011, for lack of funding.

The results of the 2012 Survey of Enterprises on Corruption will also be presented in detail on September 19, 2012, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm at the SGV Hall, AIM Conference Center, Makati City. The results will be presented by Dr. Mahar Mangahas, President of Social Weather Stations (SWS). Representatives from government, civil society, and the private sector were also invited as Discussants/Reactors to the 2012 survey results.

A copy of this release (in PDF, 429KB) can be viewed/downloaded at http://www.sws.org.ph/TAG 2012_Surveys of Enterprises_Executive Summary for Sep18 Integrity Summit.pdf

September 3, 2014 00:36:09