WB report confirms RP’s gains — solons

PHILIPPINES NEWS SERVICE — THE latest report of the World Bank on governance indicators for 1996-2008 only confirmed that the Philippine government has made significant progress in terms of good governance and anti-corruption drive, according to pro-administration lawmakers.

House Deputy Speaker for Mindanao Simeon Datumanong and Rep. Jeci Lapus (NPC, Tarlac) said the report proved the WB’s positive outlook on the Philippines which it noted is doing its best to improve its image not only before its Asian neighbors but throughout the world.

A closer look at the Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI) released by the World Bank showed that the Philippines has greatly moved forward in fighting corruption, upholding the rule of law and keeping political stability, said Datumanong.

“The Arroyo government has made significant progress and the World Bank reports is very clear on that,” he said. “Whether or not we are lagging behind our neighbors is not the real issue here. What counts most is the fact that we are getting there.”

Quoting the report, the House leader said the government’s anti-corruption efforts improved to 26.1 percent in 2008 from 22.2 percent from the previous year, while its campaign to keep political stability and absence of violence was rated 10.5 percent last year compared to 10.1 percent in 2007.

Datumanong said the WB also noted the country’s efforts to uphold the rule of law, scoring 39.7 percent in 2008 as against 33.8 percent in 2007.

Concerning the soundness of its regulatory policies, Datumanong said the country scored 51.7 percent last year, compared to the previous year’s 50.5 percent, he said. He admitted that the country’s score for government effectiveness and voice accountability dropped last year to 55 percent and 41.3 percent, respectively, compared to 56.4 percent and 43.3 percent, respectively.

“But the ratings still remained considerably high,” the senior lawmaker said.

“Our country is improving in all aspects and the figures are there to prove it. Let us focus on the improvements we are making and not on regional averages. We will come to that in time,” Datumanong said.

Lapus said the WB report only proved that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is on the right track “contrary to what her detractors believe.”

“The President has succeeded where others have failed. For this, she deserves the respect and cooperation even of the opposition,” he said.