PH drops in 2017 world corruption rankings

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 22) — The Philippines dropped in the 2017 global corruption rankings as compared to last year.

According to the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) published Wednesday, the Philippines placed 111th out of 180 countries surveyed, with a score of 34 out of 100.

This was a drop from its 35 point score, ranking 101st out of 176 countries in 2016.

The report also said the Philippines, India and the Maldives are among the most corrupt in the Asia Pacific.

"These countries score high for corruption and have fewer press freedoms and higher numbers of journalist deaths," it read.

The index from global organization Transparency International (TI) ranks countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and businessmen.

CPI uses a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 is highly corrupt, and 100 is very clean.

More than two-thirds of all the countries surveyed scored below 50 this year.

New Zealand ranked the highest in 2017 with a score of 89, with Denmark following at 88. Meanwhile, the three countries with the lowest corruption indices are Syria (14), South Sudan (12), and Somalia (9).

According to TI's analysis, corruption levels around the world are linked to declining freedom of expression.

"We found evidence to suggest that those countries that respect press freedom, encourage open dialogue, and allow for full participation of CSOs (civil society organizations) in the public arena tend to be more successful at controlling corruption," their analysis read.

TI added that countries are "moving too slow" in their attempts to combat corruption.

The report also added that on average, a journalist is killed in a country with a low CPI ranking every week.

Issues of press freedom in the Philippines arose anew after the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte barred an accredited Rappler reporter from entering Malacañang.

The Palace argued that the news organization peddled fake news in relation to Special Assistant to the President Bong Go's involvement in the procurement of Navy frigates.

But the government said it is committed to uphold freedom of the press in the country.

READ: Roque: Barring reporters from Palace briefings not a press freedom issue

Since its inception in 1993, TI has been an independent organization dedicated to combat corruption in the world. It has chapters in over 100 countries in the world, with its international secretariat office in Berlin, Germany.