Corruption trounces inflation as top economic risk for Philippines, CEO poll shows

·2-min read
Buildings at dusk in the Central Business District (CBD) in Makati City, the Philippines, on Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022. The Philippine central bank will sustain its rate-hike cycle this quarter, following a surprise move in July, to quell broadening price pressures, according to Bloomberg survey of economists. The benchmark interest rate is expected to increase by another 75 basis points to 4% by the end of September, a survey showed. Photographer: Veejay Villafranca/Bloomberg
Buildings at dusk in the Central Business District (CBD) in Makati City, the Philippines, on Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022. The Philippine central bank will sustain its rate-hike cycle this quarter, following a surprise move in July, to quell broadening price pressures, according to Bloomberg survey of economists. The benchmark interest rate is expected to increase by another 75 basis points to 4% by the end of September, a survey showed. Photographer: Veejay Villafranca/Bloomberg

By Andreo Calonzo

For Philippine business leaders, corruption is the top risk to economic recovery, trumping inflation and rising oil prices, according to a survey released Monday.

A survey conducted by the Management Association of the Philippines with PwC showed that 67% of CEOs say corruption could delay economic recovery, while lower investments and political uncertainty are next among their worries. Less than a third of the CEOs cited “uncontrolled inflation” as a recovery threat.

Business leaders want President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s government to prioritize accountability and transparency, fighting corruption and attracting investments, based on the survey conducted through online and physical questionnaires among 119 CEOs from July to August.

“It’s just too tough to break this problem of corruption in agencies, and businesses are feeling it,” PwC Philippines chair emeritus Alex Cabrera said at a virtual forum, adding that corrupt practices affect ease in doing business.

(Source: Bloomberg)
(Source: Bloomberg)

More than half of CEOs expect economic recovery in two years or more, according to the survey, with infrastructure spending and domestic consumption seen as growth drivers in the next 12 months. Some 35% of the CEOs said their businesses’ sales or revenues haven’t recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic yet.

Marcos, the late dictator’s son, has pledged sound fiscal management and spending efficiency to boost economic growth. His government has also vowed transparency in transactions.

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.