No Corruption, No Poverty: Will Open Government Work in the Philippines?

by Rogier van den Brink

Just months into its mandate, the Aquino administration made a powerful push for better governance designed to reduce corruption and increase transparency, accountability and participatory decision making. The plan is anchored in the vision of Philippines President Aquino’s commitment of “kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap” or “No Corruption, No Poverty” – which aims to tackle the grand challenges of improving public services, increasing public integrity and managing public resources more effectively.

At its core, the government’s blueprint for implementing its “Social Contract with the Filipino People” is improving governance - with a goal to reduce poverty and achieve inclusive growth.

Achieving inclusive growth has been an elusive goal for the Philippines. Average GDP growth in the last 5 years improved to 6 percent a year, up from its long run trend of 2.5 percent. However, only recently did high economic growth start to translate into somewhat stronger job creation and faster poverty reduction.

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