The Philippines is dubbed as “moderately free” to 89th place in the 2014 Economic Freedom index, compared to the 97th place last year.
Conducted by international think tank Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal, the index that was released on Tuesday scored the Philippines 60.1, which is 1.9 points higher than last year.
“[The country ranked] 1.9 points higher than last year, reflecting notable improvements in investment freedom, business freedom, monetary freedom, and the control of government spending,” the Heritage Foundation said in the index.
Also, the Philippines also improved to 16th place out of 42 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, which is a place higher than last year.
“Over the 20-year history of the Index, the Philippines’ economic freedom score has advanced by 5.1 points. Improvements in seven of the 10 economic freedoms, including significant gains in trade freedom, investment freedom, and freedom from corruption, have been partially offset by a deterioration in property rights,” the index stated.
The Heritage Foundation also said that the country has already grew “around 5 percent over the past five years” attributed to legislative reforms that enhanced investment environment and provide incentives for private sector job growth.
“Despite progress, lingering institutional challenges will not be overcome without a deeper commitment to reform. Although the perceived level of corruption has declined, more effective anti-corruption measures need to be firmly institutionalized,” the think tank said.
On the other hand, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said that the administration’s practice of “good governance” by addressing “problems of corruption, fiscal mismanagement, and inefficient regulatory processes” is starting to take notice by these improvements.
He said that this makes the country “more attractive” to local and foreign investors.
“Our challenge now is to continue our improvements and to ensure our recent economic growth and inclusive development remain beyond President Aquino’s term ending in 2016. We are now focusing on legislating these reforms to ensure the dividends of good governance will be here to stay,” the finance chief said.
“We hope that Filipinos will demand succeeding administrations to enter into the virtuous cycle of good governance,” Purisima added. KRISTYN NIKA M. LAZO