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 Philippine Politics and Corruption

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TGP
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Date Joined : 2008-04-30
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20091112
PostPhilippine Politics and Corruption

Corruption occurs all over the globe and in all historical eras. Just think of 18th century England, the urban political machines of 19th century America, the "caciques" of Spain and Latin America, or the "chaopho" (godfathers) in Thailand. However, especially given the Asian economic crisis and increasing and apparently irreversible globalization, crony capitalism must somehow give way to more enlightened forms of governance if developing economies are to move forward.

The Philippine state remains weak, and the continued power of entrenched elites makes it difficult for the central government to provide cohesive and non-corrupt leadership. Insider factions still maneuver for their pieces of the federal government pie, tax collections and customs collections are highly centralized, and the Philippines bureaucracy' s long tradition of corruption remains intact. Further, the President and other national officials remain dependent on local politicians to deliver the votes on demand. All in all, a recipe for continued corruption.

In short, the problems are structural and institutionalized. Among the prerequisites for a viable democratic system are a stable middle class, educational achievement and opportunities for social mobility, and open access to the political process. The still-extreme polarization between rich and poor in the Philippines remains a major obstacle to meaningful reform. And as long as civil service salaries stay abysmally low, it will be extremely difficult to eliminate (or even minimize) corruption in the government.



...elections and the political system itself are still largely driven by the politics of personality. Voters do not identify with political parties, they identify with individuals.
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