Political and Social Foundations for Reform: Anti-Corruption Strategies for the Philippines
June 15, 2012
Corruption in the Philippines diverts, delays, and distorts economic development, undermines the quality and credibility of democracy, and reduces the quality of life. That is so not just because of its extent but also because it comes in particularly disruptive and intractable forms. Philippine corruption is an example of the Oligarch-and-Clan syndrome—one found in countries offering significant and expanding political and economic opportunities in a setting of very weak institutions, but a pattern shaped by historical, cultural, and geographical influences specific to the country. Oligarch-and-Clan corruption is particularly disruptive, in development terms. Because of institutional weaknesses and the power of corrupt oligarchs and their followings, it often faces ineffective opposition. More than other syndromes it is closely linked to violence, and sharply limits the state’s ability to perform such basic functions as revenue collection, maintenance of institutional foundations for the economy, law enforcement, conflict resolution, and dealing with security threats.