President Rodrigo Duterte (MNS photo)

MANILA, Nov 12 (Mabuhay) — President Rodrigo Duterte is “serious” in eradicating corruption in government, Malacañang said Thursday.

In a virtual presser, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque maintained that Duterte never tolerated any government workers embroiled in corruption scandals.

“Seryoso po tayo sa kampanya laban sa korapsyon. At nakita niyo naman po ang track record ng Presidente, hindi po talaga nagku-kunsinte ng korapsyon (We are serious in the campaign against corruption. And you have seen the President’s track record. He never tolerated corruption),” Roque said.

Roque’s statement came after the Philippines failed to qualify for a grant from the United States’ Millennium Challenge Corp. (MCC) after getting a failing mark in the “control of corruption” requirement.

The MCC requires countries to pass at least 10 of 20 indicators, as well as both categories the aid agency considers “hard hurdles” for eligibility, which include the “political rights” or “civil liberties” indicator, and the “control of corruption” indicator.

The Philippines’ scorecard for the MCC’s fiscal year 2022 showed that it passed 12 of the 20 indicators – fiscal policy, inflation, regulatory quality, trade policy, gender in the economy, land rights and access, political rights, civil liberties, government effectiveness, natural resource protection, girls’ secondary education enrollment rate, and child health.

However, the country received a red mark in the must-pass control of corruption requirement, making it disqualified from grants to be extended by MCC next year.

The Philippines also got failing scores on access to credit, business start-up, rule of law, freedom of information, health expenditures, primary education expenditures, and immunization rates.

Sought for reaction, Roque said Duterte continues to give priority to his anti-corruption drive.

“Ang krusada po natin sa [korapsyon] ay inilunsad ng Presidente sa mula’t mula ng kaniyang administrasyon at patuloy na binibigyan ng prayoridad ng ating Presidente (The crusade against corruption was launched since the start of his administration. He continues to give priority to it),” he said.

Despite the international community’s perception of the Philippines’ crackdown on corrupt workers in government, Duterte’s zero tolerance for corruption remains a policy, Roque said.

“Kung iyan po ay kulang sa tingin ng mga dayuhan (If that’s what the international community thinks), so be it. Pero ang ating ginagawa pong mga polisiya dito sa Pilipinas (But our policies in the Philippines are) independent of what other countries would say,” he said.

Duterte has repeatedly vowed to use his remaining months in office in stopping corrupt practices in state departments and office.

The firing of government officials and employees involved in irregular activities also continues under Duterte’s watch. (MNS)

READ NEXT: OCTA: NCR’s positivity rate now at 3%, meets WHO standard of 5%