The Grey Chronicles


The Pitiful Filipinos

At first, I was tempted to headline this blog: The Foolish Filipinos, alluding to the response to last 02 June’s blog, which a reader commented:

“Mittal sucks! I am here in Mumbai, India and he is barely known here as the man with the “heart of gold”, in fact he is widely-known for his fuck-corrupted mind. Asshole! Filipinos are fools to have worked for him. You just don’t know people . . . “Philippines=Corrupt Politics=Corrupt Investors=Pitiful Filipinos”

Although I replied with words like: “Politics, Corruption, Investors aside, we worked for this company [NSC] prior to Mittal for several years.” I also suggested: “Please read the previous posts before commenting.”

I have been writing a longer reply to the reader’s comment hoping that with a clearer mind, I might do justice defending Filipinos, whom he called: fools working for Pramod. Today, with the country celebrating the 111st Philippine Independence Day, I finally decided to revise this post’s title to the current one instead of focusing on the derogatory word. I would also recuse myself from discussing politics, refer to Rule 8 regarding this, but will say this: Philippine politics is a mixture of show business personalities and power-hungry individuals who lack the foresight of seeing the great potentials of the country and its people. I would leave it at that! Thus, I would only address corruption and investors in here.

Global Finance, May 2009The May 2009 issue of Global Finance, Citibank included a center pull-out featuring the Emerging Market Map of 2009 with an accompanying article by Gordon Platt (2009). Global Finance’s rankings weigh such factors as economic stability, attractiveness to investors, transparency, GDP growth and competitiveness to “establish which market are most likely to attract business and to sustain it profitably for years to come.” The map shown a color-coded countries to indicate the attractiveness for investment and a wealth of supporting data.

The map of the Philippines is shown in Yellow designated as Warm meaning: “Only for the brave, but pioneers will find plenty of opportunity.” Sizzling countries in Asia color-coded Red, meaning: “Watch out for dramatic growth and intense investor interest” included China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.


An included table underneath the map, shown the Philippines’s Corruption Perception Index [CPI] at 2.3, based on Transparency International Corruption Index, 2008. With Barbados, at 7.0 leading the pact of the least corrupt nations in GFI tabulation, the Philippines’ score is in the league of Cameroon (2.3), Iran (2.3) and Yemen (2.3). This is really pitiful! It is slightly below Ukraine (2.5), Pakistan (2.5), Nicaragua (2.5), Paraguay (2.4), or at least slightly above East Timor (2.2), Kazakhstan (2.2), Russia (2.1), Kenya (2.1), and Bangladesh (2.1). This is really pitiful!

Comparing the Philippines’ CPI at 2.3 on corruption to the other members of the ASEAN10: Malaysia (5.1), Thailand (3.5), Vietnam (2.7), Indonesia (2.6), Laos (2.0) or Cambodia (1.8), Note: Burma (1.3), Brunei (No Data) and Singapore (9.2, 4th in the world) are not included in the GFI table. This is really pitiful! Among the Sizzling countries in Asia, aside from Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, the Corruption Index scores are: China (3.6), India (3.4). For ASEAN countries, Singapore and Malaysia, placing tenth in Asia, are in the top ten of the GFI’s 2008 Least Corrupt countries in the world.

It should be noted that the Corruption Index by Transparency International is a public opinion survey that assesses the general public’s perception of corruption. The perceptions gathered are a helpful contribution to the understanding of real levels of corruption. Prof. Dr. Johann Graf Lambsdorff (2008) explains:

“The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) is a composite index, using data compiled or published between 2007 and 2008. Thirteen surveys of business people and assessments by country analysts from overall eleven independent institutions enter the CPI. . . All sources generally apply a definition of corruption such as the misuse of public power for private benefit, for example bribing of public officials, kickbacks in public procurement, or embezzlement of public funds.”


In terms of Competitiveness, based on the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report 2008-2009, the Philippines scored a minuscule 4.09. This is almost similar to Ukraine (4.09), Vietnam (4.10), Romania (4.10), Azerbaijan (4.10), or Kazakhstan (4.11). This is indeed pitiful! The Philippines competitiveness score of 4.09 is very slightly better than Morocco (4.08), Colombia (4.05), Uruguay (4.04), Bulgaria (4.03), Sri Lanka (4.02), Namibia (3.99), Syria (3.99), El Salvador (3.99), Honduras (3.98), or Egypt (3.98)! This is really pitiful!

Compared to other members of the ASEAN10, their competitiveness scores are: Malaysia (5.04), Thailand (4.60), Indonesia (4.25), Vietnam (4.10), Cambodia (3.83), or Laos (2.28); Again, Burma (N/A), Brunei (4.54) and Singapore (5.53) are not included in the GFI database. Also, among the Sizzling countries, aside from Indonesia, Malaysia topping the list, Thailand and Vietnam, the Competitiveness scores of the following Asian countries are: China (4.70), India (4.33). Among Asian countries, only Malaysia, China, Thailand, and India are in GFI’s top ten of the Most Competitive countries in the world.

With the Philippines celebrating its 111st Independence Day today, it is but unfortunate that the country is still stuck at the bottom of any economic lists. After all of a century, the Philippines is still perceived as corrupt and insignificantly competitive! Thus, the reader was right?


Lambsdorff, Prof. Dr. Johann Graf (2008). The Methodology of the TI Corruption Perceptions Index 2008. Berlin: Transparency International, 09 August 2008. pp. 1, 4, 10. back to text

Platt, Gordon (2009). Global Map of Emerging Hot Spots, Global Finance, 23:05. London: Global Finance Media, 2009. back to text

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 LicenseDisclaimer: The posts on this site does not necessarily represent any organization’s positions, strategies or opinions; and unless otherwise expressly stated, are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


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