PH drops to 115th place in global corruption index
Aileen Cerrudo • January 29, 2021 • 1129
MANILA, Philippines—The Philippines lands in 115th place out of 180 countries in the 2020 Corruption Perception Index of anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International.
From the 113th position, the Philippines dropped two places with no change in the state of corruption in the country.
“With a score of 34, efforts to control corruption in the Philippines mostly appear stagnant since 2012. The government’s response to COVID-19 has been characterized by abusive enforcement and major violations of human rights and media freedom,” Transparency International said.
Based on the rating of Transparency International, countries with highly clean of corruption can score as high as 100 while highly corrupt countries garner lower scores up to zero. The Philippines has a score of 34, way lower than the average score of 43 points worldwide and 45 points in the Asia-Pacific region.
The country, however, outranked three of its neighbors in Asia — Laos (134th), Myanmar (137th), and Cambodia (160th).
“Countries with higher corruption levels also tend to be the worst violators of rule of law and democratic institutions during the COVID-19 crisis. These include the Philippines (34), where the response to COVID-19 has been characterized by major attacks on human rights and media freedom,” Transparency International said.
Transparency International also noted how the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has heavily affected the Asia Pacific region.
“With an average score of 45, the Asia Pacific region struggles to combat corruption and tackle the profound health and economic impact of COVID-19,” the Transparency International’s report said.
“With a score of 88, New Zealand is consistently one of the top performers on the CPI, both in the region and around the world. The country is followed by Singapore (85), Australia (77), and Hong Kong (77). Conversely, Cambodia (21), Afghanistan (19), and North Korea (18) earn the lowest scores in the region,” the report further read.
The organization also stated that countries with high corruption levels tend to have more violators of rule of law and democratic institutions during the COVID-19 crisis. -AAC
MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Friday announced it will roll out the COVID-19 vaccination for its frontline workers this weekend.
In a statement, Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said they are looking to inoculate a total of 1,250 immigration personnel starting this April 24 to 25.
Immigration personnel eligible for vaccination will receive government-procured Sinovac’s CoronaVac jab, which will be administered in two doses in an interval of 28 days.
A pre-screening will be conducted on the medical history of the officers to determine those who are eligible to receive the vaccine.
“We have scheduled vaccination of our eligible employees on a weekend so as not to hamper our daily operations,” Morente said.
Adhering to the priority list given by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), the BI will start vaccinating employees who are senior citizens and persons with co-morbidities.
“The continuous rise of COVID-19 cases accentuates the need to vaccinate our frontliners, especially those belonging in the most vulnerable group such as the seniors and persons with co-morbidities. We want to assure their safety from the threat of the deadly virus,” Morente shared.
BI Deputy Commissioner and Chairperson of the bureau’s COVID-19 Task Force Aldwin Alegre said that despite vaccine rollout among immigration officers, they will continue to implement basic health protocols such as wearing face masks and face shields, maintaining physical distancing, and checking body temperatures.
“Our frontliners are one of the most exposed and have a high risk of contracting the highly transmissible virus. As such, we will continue to make sure that all health protocols are being followed,” Alegre said.
“I am confident that as our officers get their jabs, we will be able to carry out our mandate better and with less worry,” he added.
The BI has so far recorded 300 COVID-19 infections among its personnel.
MANILA, Philippines – The inoculation of frontline workers listed under the fourth priority group (A4) for COVID-19 vaccination has yet to start because the government is still crafting the prioritization guidelines, the Department of Health (DOH) said Friday.
“We are drafting the guidelines right now,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in an online briefing, adding that it will be released soon after the DOH met with vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. and some representatives from the private sector.
Vergeire said they are also coordinating with the National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NITAG) for the drafting of the guidelines.
“Kailangan lang natin ipaliwanag uli at ipagbigay alam sa ating mga kababayan, hindi pa nag-uumpisa ang A4 natin na pagbabakuna. So andun pa rin tayo sa simultaneous vaccinations ng A1 to A3,” she said.
The A4 sector is composed of workers or frontline personnel in essential sectors who have high levels of interaction with the public and economic sectors that are needed to ensure security, consumer and worker safety, and those working in priority government projects.
The A4 priority list includes the following:
Workers in commuter transport (land, air, and sea), including logistics
Public and private wet and dry market vendors
Frontline workers in groceries, supermarkets, delivery services
Workers in manufacturing for food, beverage, medical and pharmaceutical products
Frontline workers in food retail, including food service delivery
Frontline workers in private and government financial services
Frontline workers in hotels and accommodation establishments
Priests, rabbis, imams, and other religious leaders
Security guards/ personnel assigned in offices, agencies, and organizations identified in the list of priority industries/sectors
Frontline workers in private and government news media
Customer-facing personnel of telecoms, cable and internet service providers, electricity distribution and water distribution utilities
Frontline personnel in basic education and higher education institutions and agencies
Overseas Filipino workers, including those scheduled for deployment within two months
Frontline workers in law/justice, security, and social protection sectors
Frontline government workers engaged in the operations of the government transport system, quarantine inspection;
Worker safety inspection and other COVID-19 response activities
Frontline government workers in charge of tax collection, assessment of businesses for incentives, election, national ID, data collection personnel
Diplomatic community and Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) personnel in consular operations
Department of Public Works and Highways personnel in charge of monitoring government infrastructure projects
The Philippines has so far vaccinated over 1.3 million individuals who are part of the first three priority groups – healthcare workers (A1), senior citizens (A2), and persons with co-morbidities (A3).
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