Manila: The Philippines had shown improvements in its fight versus corruption and the administration of President Benigno Aquino III was quick to claim credit for it.

The Social Weather Stations (SWS), in its preliminary report of the 2012 Survey of Enterprises on Corruption, the polls showed “radical progress” has been noted in the government’s fight against corruption.

“The preliminary report, based on interviews of executives of 826 companies (281 large, 545 small/medium) over July 16 to September 14, 2012, shows a great deal of progress against corruption between 2009 and the present,” SWS said in a statement.

It can be recalled that the government had suffered much from its stark image before local and international business community given the barrage of negative publicity the administration of then President Gloria Arroyo had been receiving.

Arroyo’s term extended from 2001 to June 2010.

The 2012 SWS Survey of Enterprises, the tenth in a series since 2000, targeted 950 companies with the sampling taken in the National Capital Region, Cavite-Laguna-Batangas, Metro Cebu, Metro Davao, Cagayan de Oro-Iligan, and, for the first time, Metro Angeles and Metro Iloilo.

The survey polls businessmen and provides an insight into the level of corruption in government.

For its part, the Aquino administration was quick to claim credit.

‘The latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey of Enterprises on Corruption showing that the fight against corruption has radically progressed from 2009 is an indication that the business sector recognises the results of the Aquino administration’s relentless drive against corruption,” the palace said.

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte added: “Of all the government institutions rated for sincerity in fighting corruption this year, the Office of the President shot up the most, from -37 in 2009 to +81 this year, an improvement of +118,” she noted.

“Indeed, the President leads by example and the Filipino people see in his leadership the embodiment of positive change and honest public service. This is indicative of the overwhelming trust, confidence, and support in the President as he undertakes anti-corruption initiatives. In the eyes of the business community, good governance is good economics,” Valte claimed.

“The mandate of reform is one of hope, change, and the belief that corruption is at the root of our country’s social ills,” she added.

The 2012 Survey of Enterprises on Corruption has the support of the Australian Agency for International Development through The Asia Foundation.

The poll was undertaken with the partnership of one of the country’s biggest and most influential organisations, the Makati Business Club.