By Genalyn Kabiling
The Philippine government is optimistic the US Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) would consider its latest reforms to combat corruption and improve governance after getting low ratings in a recent scorecard.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the MCC scorecard findings might not have reflected the President’s reform initiatives such as the dismissal of corrupt personnel and freedom of information in the executive branch.
“The President has fired government officials from their posts, including those who were perceived to be close to him, due to reports of corruption,” Roque said in a statement.
“He has moved towards restoring people’s faith and trust in the government by making government services accessible to the public through the implementation of the Freedom of Information in the executive branch, cutting red tape and streamlining the delivery of frontline services, such as in applying for business permits and licensing systems,” he said.
Also established were hotlines such as 8888 for public complaints and 911 for emergencies as well as government centers to receive public concerns.
Roque said the government is also serious in its revenue-collection efforts, including running after big-time tax delinquents, such as Mighty Corporation, Sunvar Realty Development Corporation and Philippine Air Lines.
“We are hopeful that the MCC Board would take into account these initiatives and see our commitment to further reforms in the areas covered by the compact assistance,” Roque said.
In the MCC 2018 Scorecard, the Philippines scored 50 percent in controlling corruption and 47 percent in ensuring rule of law. The country however ranked well in the areas of political rights and civil liberties, government effectiveness and freedom of information.
Roque said in this year’s MCC scorecard, the ratings in the various indicators were based on their methodologies in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
“The findings therefore may not completely reflect the reform initiatives of the Duterte administration in the area of fighting corruption and good governance,” he said.
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