PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte's reform initiatives might not have been taken into consideration when the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) assessed the Philippines' annual scorecard, incoming Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Friday.
Roque noted that MCC's assessment of the Philippines based on encouraging economic freedom, ruling justly, and investing in people primarily covers only Duterte's first year in office.
According to MCC 2018 scorecard, the Philippines scored low in controlling corruption and ensuring the rule of law. The country's percentile ranking in its income group was 50 percent in control of corruption and 47 percent in rule of law.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, for his part, cited "inherent time lags" in the data used by MMC in its assessment of the country.
Dominguez noted that the "control of corruption" indicator was based and released on September 2017, which covers the events in 2016.
"'Control of corruption' and 'rule of law' scores, for example, were based on an aggregation of quantitative assessments and perception surveys that were collected by the World Bank Worldwide Governance Indicators in conjunction with the Brookings Institution based on information for the events of 2016," Dominguez said in a statement.
In its website, the MCC states it used information collected from independent, third-party sources to allow for an objective comparison of all candidate countries.
Roque said that the country's supposed failure to address corruption was based on the events during Aquino administration's term and the Duterte administration's first year in office.
"We have to understand that for this year's scorecard, the ratings in the various indicators were based on their methodologies in 2014, 2015 and 2016. The findings, therefore, may not completely reflect the reform initiatives of the Duterte administration in the area of fighting corruption and good governance," Roque said in a statement.
Roque said that Duterte, in his first year in office, had implemented reforms that are advantageous to the country.
He cited that Duterte had restored the public's "faith and trust" in the government when he issued the executive order on Freedom of Information, streamlined the delivery of frontline services, and established 8888 and 911 hotlines for public complaints and emergencies.
He added that the President had no preferential treatment when he fired several public officials, including those who were "close to him," because of their alleged involvement in corruption.
Roque also said that the current administration was also serious in its revenue-collection efforts as it went after "big-time tax delinquents" like Mighty Corporation, Sunvar Realty Development Corporation, and the flag-carrier Philippine Airlines.
"We are hopeful that the MCC Board would take into account these initiatives and see our commitment to further reforms in the areas covered by the compact assistance," he said. (SunStar Philippines)