Press Release
February 20, 2013


"Filipinos would not resort to bribing if they did not have to," Sen. Alan Cayetano said today in reaction to the survey results of the National Statistical Office (NSO) that 41.3% of those surveyed personally saw a government employee for a favor and around 9% gave "pampadulas" in the form of money or gift to facilitate the transaction.

"The people I've talked to - market vendors, jeepney drivers, fisherfolk - who may have, at some point, slipped in a bribe are not culprits, but victims of this shameful practice," Cayetano argued. "They don't do it out of custom. They do it because they're desperate and are willing to do anything to support their family and build their business. They don't engage in bribery because they are unprincipled, but because they are forced to," Cayetano argued.

Since the start of the campaign, Cayetano has conferred with vendors of Pritil Market in Tondo, Manila; Dangwa flower market also in Manila; Murphy Market in Quezon City; the fisherfolk of Taguig, and furniture workers in Cebu to personally hear the concerns of the masses on the economy, specifically inflation, employment, and wages.

Malacañang, through deputy spokesperson Abigail Valte, encouraged the public "not to give in to these demands and to report these cases to the head of agency or to the Office of the Ombudsman so that these erring officials will be dealt with accordingly." But Cayetano said that this encouragement would fall on deaf ears, so long as the poor do not feel the benefits of a surging economy.

"If you look at the survey closely, you will find that 32% of the poor families surveyed gave the gift, favor, or money involuntarily. This means that they were forced to give the bribe, most likely to the government employee who needed the extra cash to support his own family, because his monthly salary is not enough to make ends meet with the rising cost of goods," Cayetano said. Bribery to Be Eradicated by the End of Aquino Term

Cayetano said that he is, nevertheless, hopeful that the practice of bribery may be eradicated or significantly lessened by the end of the present administration's term. "Concerns like this are still present, because it takes time to feel the trickle down effect of economic growth," Cayetano said. "But once GDP growth is matched by a similar increase in the quality of life index, I believe these statistics on bribery will also change."

"There is also the terrible impression that bribes are part of the cost of doing business in the Philippines," Cayetano added. "But once our government employees feel the effects of economic growth - with increased wages and more affordable prices - this unprincipled practice will end and the impression of investors will change."

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