Corruption in the Philippines

PH further drops two places in 2020 Corruption Perception Index

Camille Elemia
PH further drops two places in 2020 Corruption Perception Index

CORRUPTION INDEX. Transparency International releases its 2020 Corruption Perception Index, which highlights the impact of corruption on government responses to COVID-19

The Philippines places 115th out of 180 countries and territories – lower than its 113th rank in 2019

The Philippines further dropped two places in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index in 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic.

With a score of 34, the Philippines ranked 115th out of 180 countries and territories. While this was the country’s same score in 2019, its 2020 rank dipped from 113th in the previous year. It is now the country’s lowest rank recorded since 2012.

The Philippines got the same score and rank as the Eastern European country of Moldova.

The CPI uses a scale where the higher the score, the least corrupt a country is: 100 is very clean, while zero is highly corrupt.

The 2020 CPI report highlighted the impact of corruption on government responses to COVID-19 and compared nations’ performances on health care and democratic norms and institutions.

“This year’s CPI paints a grim picture of the state of corruption worldwide. While most countries have made little to no progress in tackling corruption in nearly a decade, more than two-thirds of countries score below 50. Our analysis shows corruption not only undermines the global health response to COVID-19, but contributes to a continuing crisis of democracy,” the report said.

Asia Pacific

Asia Pacific recorded an average score of 45. Transparency International said that the “region struggles to combat corruption and tackle the profound health and economic impact of COVID-19.”

With a score of 88, New Zealand is consistently one of the top performers both in the region and around the world. It is followed by Singapore (85), Australia (77), and Hong Kong (77).

Meanwhile, Cambodia (21), Afghanistan (19), and North Korea (18) got the lowest scores in the region.

The group reported that key economies in Asia, such as India (40), Indonesia (37), and Bangladesh (26), experienced slow progress in anti-corruption efforts.

Despite this, there are still several improvements in the region. The Maldives (43), which earlier climbed 14 points, shows a positive trend as it experienced advances in democratic space and the removal of several repressive laws.

While one of the lowest in ranking, the organization said Afghanistan is a significant improver, climbing 11 points since 2012. 

Two member-states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) – Myanmar (28) and Timor-Leste (40) – also continued to steadily build their integrity infrastructure.


Denmark and New Zealand remained in the top spot, with both countries obtaining a score of 88 – a one-point increase from 2019.

Finland, Switzerland, Singapore, and Sweden all ranked 3rd, with a score of 85.

At the other end of the spectrum, Somalia and South Sudan (12) were deemed the most corrupt, followed by Syria (14), Yemen (15), and Venezuela (15).

Western Europe and the European Union remained the region with the best average score of 66, while Sub-Saharan Africa had the worst with a score of 32. –

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Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation issues, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email