LAST Thursday (July 23) I joined Most Rev. Teodoro C. Bacani Jr., DD, bishop emeritus of Novaliches; and Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, DD, auxiliary bishop of Manila and Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) permanent committee on public affairs chairman, in presenting to the media the latest results of Veritas Truth Survey (VTS) on the public perception on corruption in our government.
Conducted during the second quarter of 2015, involving 1,200 respondents from both urban and rural areas nationwide, the VTS revealed that 46 percent of Filipinos believe President Aquino failed in his campaign promises of matuwid na daan (straight path) after more than five years in office.
The respondents were specifically asked the following question: “Sa iyong palagay, naging matagumpay ba ang ating Pangulo sa kanyang programa laban sa korupsyon sa ating pamahalaan [In your opinion, was the President successful in his program against corruption in our
government?]” In response, 41 percent of Filipinos replied “unsure,” while only 13 percent said the President succeeded in fighting corruption in the government.
Broken down by region, a majority of those from Luzon (53 percent) and 48 percent from Mindanao said they do not agree that the President successfully curbed corruption, while 47 percent from the Visayas said they are unsure.
In terms of highest educational attainment, 52 percent of high- school graduates said President Aquino was unable to address corruption, while 46 percent of elementary graduates, 45 percent of vocational graduates, 42 percent of college graduates and 44 percent of those with postgraduate degrees said they are unsure.
The same poll revealed the government agencies that are perceived to be corrupt, with both legislative branches topping the list; 49 percent said the Senate of the Philippines and 48 percent said the House of Representatives are corrupt. President Aquino’s allies control both houses of Congress.
Plurality of respondents said the Office of the President (42 percent), Office of the Vice President (39 percent), Cabinet Secretaries (46 percent), the Judiciary (48 percent), and their respective provincial governments (39 percent) are moderately corrupt. Local government units (LGUs) at the city/municipal and barangay levels were perceived as not corrupt by the most number of respondents, with 37 percent and 39 percent, respectively.
Bishops Pabillo and Bacani both said the results of this survey should serve as a wake-up call for President Aquino.
Bishop Pabillo said it is not too late for the President to make serious
effort to deliver on his campaign versus corruption in the government since there is still one year for him to act.
Bishop Bacani, for his part, said the President should prosecute corrupt officials regardless if they belong to the opposition or they are his allies. Otherwise, people will doubt whether or not he is really serious about his administration’s anticorruption drive.
The VTS was conducted by the research department of Radio Veritas, headed by Clifford Sorita, PhD Radio Veritas is the No. 1 faith-based radio in the country owned and operated by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila. Church teachings indicate that a legitimate government should be seen as truthful and trustworthy. The results of the VTS clearly show the public’s perception. I hope the government would now see the views of its boss.
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