How pervasive is corruption?

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    UNKNOWN to many Filipinos, two important government offices have been conducting research and study about the extent of graft and corruption not only in the government but most specially outside it. These two agencies are the Office of the Ombudsman and the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

    It was Ombudsman Samuel Martires who revealed that according to their study, one out of every 40 households in the country has had an experience with activities involving corruption.

    The Ombudsman cited these figures in a speech at the Sikhay Laban sa Korapsyon (SiLaK): A Public Accountability Summit Against Corruption held recently in Manila.

    Martires reported on the data of the National Household Survey on Experience with Corruption, which is conducted by his office with the help of the PSA. The survey measured the extent of the pervasiveness of petty or bureaucratic corruption in the country.

    The data gathered by the PSA and the Office of the Ombudsman are both interesting and important because these tend to show that Filipinos — at least in the matter of bribe giving and bribe taking — are maturing and honesty is vigorously trying a comeback.

    The 2010 data revealed that four out of 40 families has had an experience with corruption, such as giving bribes to local officials. The 2013 survey yielded two out of 40 families, while the 2016 survey only had one out of 40 families involved in corruption.

    Martires said that everybody is susceptible to corruption, and it is not just public officials who succumb to it. “Pati ang taong nagbibigay ay corrupt din (Even those who give bribes are also corrupt).”

    The Ombudsman cited in his speech that he supports the return of the subject good manners and right conduct along with values formation in households and school curriculums.

    As to the data given by Martires, we wonder what happened to the results of similar surveys in 2017 and succeeding years, the years when President Duterte himself was leading a reform movement in the government, firing and weeding out corrupt officials even those who supported his campaign, old acquaintances, fraternity and college friends, etc.

    Let us see those figures, too, Mr. Ombudsman.