CORRUPTION IN THE PHILIPPINES

En Excerpt from: “De-institutionalizing Corruption in the Philippines”, by Eric C. Batalla, PhD.
(1) Definition and nature of Corruption. Corruption has been defined as the misuse or abuse of public office for private gain (World Bank, 1997, Jayawickrama, 1998 UNDP, 1999). In involves members of government and the private sector. It comes in several forms or as Klitgaard puts it, “a wide array of illicit behaviors, including bribery, extortion, fraud, nepotism, graft, speed money, pilferage, theft, embezzlement, falsification of records, kickbacks, influence peddling, and campaign contributions.” A report of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) identifies two types of corruption, pervasive in society, to wit, spontaneous and institutionalized (or systemic). The spontaneous type can be found in societies observing generally strong ethics and morals in public service. Individual acts of corruption are minimal although they can be both petty and grand. When corrupt behaviors are perennially extensive or pervasive in society, it can be said that corruption has been institutionalized. It has become a way of life, a goal, and an outlook towards the public office.

Institutionalized corruption is a problem that thrives in the weakness of both public and private institutions to act as fiscalizers for the greater public good. Opportunities for corruption abound in the absence of lack of order, transparency and accountability. These characteristics and the problem of institutionalized corruption in general appear to be more pronounced in developing counties. In these countries, the number of corruption cases settled is far lower than what it ought to be based on broad perception of its prevalence.”

Bp. Benny Navarro

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