After falling 18 places on the international Rule of Law Index, the Philippines has slipped 10 places on the world Corruption Perceptions Index, too. After placing 95th in 2015, then 101st in 2016, the country is now 111th out of 180 nations.
Published by Transparency International, the Corruption Perception Index rates countries on a scale from 0 to 100—0 being “highly corrupt,” and 100 being “very clean.” The organization explains that these ratings are based on each nation’s “perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and businesspeople.”
From 2015 to 2016, the Philippines had a score of 35. In 2017, the country’s score went down to 34. As usual, New Zealand tops the list with a score of 89, followed by Nordic countries Denmark, Finland, and Norway.
Within Southeast Asia, Singapore leads the pack with a world ranking of 6 and a score of 84, followed by Brunei which is at 32nd place on the index. The Philippines ranks 7th amongst its ten ASEAN neighbors, followed by Myanmar, Laos, and Cambodia.
Among the countries with low scores, Transparency International notes a correlation between corruption and the suppression of press freedom, along with a lack of protection for non-government organizations.
“No activist or reporter should have to fear for their lives when speaking out against corruption. Given current crackdowns on both civil society and the media worldwide, we need to do more to protect those who speak up,” says Patricia Moreira, managing director of Transparency International.
In its regional analysis of the Asia Pacific, Transparency International notes that the Philippines, India, and the Maldives are “among the worst regional offenders” when it comes to threatening “journalists, activists, opposition leaders, and even staff of law enforcement or watchdog agencies.”
“These countries score high for corruption and have fewer press freedoms and higher numbers of journalist deaths,” the report says.
This story originally appeared on Esquiremag.ph.
* Minor edits have been made by the Entrepreneur.com.ph editors.