What is Corruption? Part II

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CORRUPTION IN THE PHILIPPINES

Corruption in the Philippines is so entrenched that it is considered part of life. Involvement in corrupt acts is necessary to procure government services.

There are 8 types of corruption frequently practiced in the Philippines namely: tax evasion, ghost projects and payrolls, evasion of public bidding in awarding of contracts, passing of contracts, nepotism and favoritism, extortion, protection money and bribery.

 

Tax Evasion

This is very rampant, particularly in the private sector due to the refusal of those engaged in private businesses to honestly declare their annual income and to pay the corresponding taxes to the government.

 

Ghost Projects and Payrolls

This is done by high officials of the government whereby non-existing projects are financed by the government while non-existing personnel or pensioners are being paid salaries and allowances. This practice is rampant in government agencies involved in formulation and implementation of programs and projects particularly in infrastructure and in the granting of salaries, allowances and pension benefits.

 

Evasion of Public Bidding in the Awarding of Contracts

 

Government offices, particularly bids and awards committees forego the awarding of contracts through public bidding, or award these contracts to favored business enterprises or contractors. Sometimes, members of bids and awards committees are very subjective of awarding the contract to those who can provide them with personal benefits.

To legally evade public bidding, purchasing government agencies would embark on a “piece-meal purchasing strategy†whereby small amount of supplies and materials will be bought in a continuous process. In which case, internal agreements between the buyer and the supplier is done whereby a certain percentage of the price value will be given to the buyer which sometimes result to overpricing and the purchase of sub-standard supplies and materials.

 

The practice of passing contracts from one contractor to another

In the construction of infrastructure projects, contractors have that practice of passing the work from one contractor to another and in the process certain percentage of the project value is retained by each contractor and sub-contractors resulting to the use of substandard materials or even unfinished projects.

 

Nepotism and Favoritism

Government officials particularly those occupying high positions tend to cause the appointment or employment of relatives and close friends to government positions even if they are not qualified or eligible to discharge the functions of that office. This is one of the root causes of inefficiency and the overflowing of government employees in the bureaucracy.

 

Extortion

This is done by government officials against their clients by demanding money, valuable items, or services from ordinary citizens who transact business with them or with their office. This is rampant in agencies issuing clearances and other documents, those involved in the recruitment of personnel, or those performing services that directly favor ordinary citizens.

 

“Tong†or Protection Money

This is a form of bribery which is done by citizens performing illegal activities and operations. They deliver huge amount of money to government officials particularly to those in-charge of enforcing the law in exchange for unhampered illegal operation. The law enforcement officer who receives the money will be duty-bound to protect the citizen concerned together with his illegal activities from other law enforcement authorities. This is practiced mostly by gambling lords and those engaged in business without the necessary permits.

 

The “Lagay†system or Bribery

The “lagay†system or the act of citizens to bribe government officials occupying sensitive positions in government is perpetuated due to bureaucratic red tape. Too much paper requirements, long and arduous processing of documents, ineffective and inefficient personnel management and the absence of professionalism in the public service force ordinary citizens to employ extraordinary and illegal methods for the immediate processing and issuance of required personal documents. The most frequently employed method is offering a considerable amount of money to a government official who can facilitate the issuance of the desired documents in agencies issuing licenses, permits, clearances, and those agencies deputized to make decisions on particular issues.

Another method in this category is the employment of “fixers†whereby people will pay certain individuals who may or may not be government employees to process or obtain personal requirements for them.

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