rey_andresThe “improved ranking” of the Philippines’s in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index for the year 2013 provides a consolation to many Filipinos who wake up every morning to news on corruptions on various levels of governance. We are not alone in the struggle and we did not make to the top ten most corrupt.

The good news, the Philippines, with a score of 36 has improved its score and now ranks 94th of the 177 countries on the scale of “highly corrupt” to “very clean”. Last year the Philippines scored 34 which was good for rank 105th on the index scores from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).

From among the members of the South East Asian Nations, the Philippines was behind Singapore (5th), Brunei (38th) and Malaysia (53th) but ahead of Thailand (102nd), Indonesia (114th), Vietnam (116th), Laos (140th) Myanmar (157th) and Cambodia (160th).  Algeria, Armenia, Benin, Colombia, Djibouti and India had the same rank as the Philippines.

Berlin-based Transparency International developed a comprehensive list of the world’s most corrupt nations last year, and the countries that top the list probably didn’t come as much of a surprise to many. The study ranks countries on a scale from 0 to 100, with zero being the most corrupt, and 100 being the least.

Edith Garcia-Ramos’ Milestone: Family, relatives and high-school friends of Edith Garcia-Ramos, (seated, left) joined her in celebrating a milestone at a gathering in her Whittier residence recently. Ramos is one of the most active members the alumni association of Mapua Institute where she finished her engineering degree.

Edith Garcia-Ramos’ Milestone: Family, relatives and high-school friends of Edith Garcia-Ramos, (seated, left) joined her in celebrating a milestone at a gathering in her Whittier residence recently. Ramos is one of the most active members the alumni association of Mapua Institute where she finished her engineering degree.

Transparency International, organized in 1993 by a few individuals who decided “to take a stand against corruption”,  is a global movement that shares a vision of a world in “which government, business and civil society and the daily lives of people are free of corruption.”

The United States was included in the list “for good measure” to give perspective as to its ranking on the international level in terms of corruption and economic strife.” By TI’s scale, the U.S, “sits fairly well” although there are issues on how things are run in Washington as perceived by many.

U.S. does have a great deal of corruption in many forms but according to the corruption index, the U.S. pales in comparison to countries in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

Other countries expected to make it to the 177-nation list like Russia, Mexico, or Venezuela all have their places as well.

The most corrupt nations in the world, as ranked by Transparency International include: Somalia, North Korea, Afghanistan, with scores of 8, Sudan 11, South Sudan 14, Libya 15, Iraq 16, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Syria with scores of 17.

Corruption and economic turmoil make for a perfect combination and most often go hand-in-hand. Corruption come to the knowledge of the public as a result of whistleblowers or journalistic efforts be it in western nations like the United States, and in European countries and Asia, as in the case of the Philippines, where news about corruption hug the headlines day after day.

In many other areas of the world, corruption plays a major role in fostering staggering poverty and broken economic systems.

In general, the world overall has a huge issue in terms of corruption.