THIS WEEK SWS completed a road show on its 2012 Survey of Enterprises. The initial presentations in Makati City on Sept. 18 and 19 (see “Tracking sincerity against corruption” and “Tracking private sector integrity,” Inquirer, 9/22/12 and 9/29/12, respectively) were followed by sessions in the cities of Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Iloilo, Davao, Angeles, and Tagaytay, over Oct. 24 to Nov. 26.
The purposes of the road show, organized by the National Competitiveness Council of the Philippines, were to share the survey findings to key people from business, government and academia in the areas where the survey was done, and to give NCC occasions to advocate steps to improve the Philippines’ currently dismal ranking in international competitiveness.
The new 2012 survey is the largest of the 10 surveys of enterprises done by SWS since 2000. SWS interviewed a total of 972 managers, consisting of 372 in the National Capital Region and 100 each in the metropolitan areas of Cebu, Davao, Cavite-Laguna-Batangas (Calaba for short), Cagayan de Oro-Iligan (CDO-I), Angeles and Iloilo.
Angeles and Iloilo were included for the first time in 2012. There is a strong panel element to the surveys, with 200 enterprises in NCR, 76 in Calaba, 99 in Cebu, 100 in Davao, and 78 in CDO-I having also been interviewed in the last previous round of 2009.
There are interesting differences in the survey findings across areas. The numbers below speak for themselves.
Perception of corruption, by area. Between 2009 and 2012, the proportion seeing “a lot” of corruption in the public sector fell drastically in all five areas already surveyed in 2009. In 2012 the percentage was 27 in Angeles, 33 in Cebu, 40 in CDO-I, 46 in Davao, 47 in Iloilo, and 51 in NCR.
Between 2009 and 2012, the percentage seeing “a lot” of corruption in the private sector rose in NCR (from 8 to 12), Cebu (from 7 to 13) and CDO-I (from 5 to 10), but fell in Calaba (from 9 to 8) and Davao (from 14 to 12). In 2012, it is 7 in Angeles and 12 in Iloilo.
Experience of corruption, by area. Among all those interviewed, 50 percent were solicited for at least one of seven types of bribe in the past year. Though high, it is quite a drop from 60 percent in 2009 and 71 percent in 2008. As of 2012, NCR is the most pestered (58 percent), and Calaba is the least pestered (31 percent), by bribe-seekers. Between them are the percentages of Cebu (56), CDO-I (50), Iloilo and Davao (both 47), and Angeles (36).
The most common solicitation is in connection with a local permit. In 2012, such solicitations were most frequent in NCR (37 percent), followed by Cebu (32), Davao (29), Iloilo (28), CDO-I (26), Calaba (23) and Angeles (22). Compared to 2009, the frequencies dropped in NCR and Cebu, but rose in Calaba, Davao and CDO-I.
The second most common solicitation concerns income taxes. In 2012 it was most frequent in NCR (33 percent), followed by CDO-I (30), Cebu and Iloilo (both 28), Davao (22), Angeles (18) and Calaba (13).
Among those asked for any bribe, only 9 percent reported it to authorities. With respect to whistle-blowing, the strongest area is Calaba (16 percent), and the weakest one is Cebu (5 percent).
Comparing the present with the past, by area. In the entire survey, 73 percent say corruption is less now, and only 2 percent say it is more now, under the Noynoy Aquino administration, versus under the Arroyo administration. By area, the top percentage seeing less corruption is in CDO-I, at 84. Elsewhere it is at least 70, except in Angeles (57).
Ratings of government agencies, by area. Of 20 government agencies rated for fighting corruption, the top scorer was the Office of the President, with a net sincerity rating (percentage sincere minus percentage insincere) of +80 across all respondents. The bottom score was in Angeles, at +70, the border for our term “excellent”. Four areas, topped by Davao (+87), went over +80.
The “city government” was one of three agencies (the others being the Supreme Court and the Commission on Elections) whose corruption-fighting rating fell from 2009 (+35 or “good”) to 2012 (+21 or “moderate”). Losses in NCR (from +22 to zero), Cebu (from +51 to +34), and CDO-I (from +21 to -13) overpowered gains in Calaba (from +19 to +31) and Davao (from +65 to +66). Angeles (+55) and Iloilo (+33) were above average; their inclusion was not responsible for the overall fall.
In 2012, most enterprises are satisfied with their city government’s performance in promoting a good business climate in Davao (87 percent), Cebu (76), Iloilo (73), Calaba (69), Angeles (67), and NCR (55), where satisfaction increased or was stable since 2009. In CDO-I, however, only 44 percent are satisfied in 2012, a drop from 52 percent in 2009.
Honest business practices, by area. Only 62 percent of the enterprises say that “most” if not “almost all” companies in their sector pay taxes honestly. The top percentage is in Calaba (67), followed by Davao and Angeles (both 66), Cebu and NCR (both 64), Iloilo (61), and CDO-I (51).
Likewise, only 62 percent say that most/almost all keep only one set of accounts. The top score is is in Cebu (69), followed by NCR (68), Davao (64), Iloilo (61), Calaba (59), Angeles (51), and CDO-I (39).
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The full handout for the 2012 SWS Survey of Enterprises, with data for each survey area, is on http://www.sws.org.ph/pr20121122_TAG%202012
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Contact SWS: or email@example.com.