MANILA -- Alarmed by the “highly corrupt” tag of the Philippines, a lawmaker has proposed the creation of a permanent congressional oversight committee that would keep track of the major regulatory agencies of the government.

Representative Ben Evardone (lone district, Eastern Sama) said the committee would look into government offices especially those with rate-setting and franchise-awarding functions to "put the Congress at the forefront of the effort to stamp out official corruption".

Evardone, chairman of the House committee on public information, made the proposal after the release of the Transparency International (TI) survey that classified the country as “highly corrupt”.

The Philippines was given a ranking of 134 in the transparency and good governance index among the 178 countries surveyed. Last year, the country ranked 139th.

“Congress has to institutionalize its efforts to fight official corruption and it cannot do so without a permanent congressional oversight committee that would monitor the performances of the major regulatory agencies of government,” said Evardone. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)