Statement of Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda
On the 2016 Index of Economic Freedom World Rankings
[Released on February 2, 2016]
We welcome the results of the 2016 Index of Economic Freedom, which shows the Philippines jumping from 76th place last year to 70th place, having scored 63.1 out of a possible 100 points—up from 62.2 in the previous index. This is the highest score our country has received since the index began in 1995. In recent years, the Philippines has steadily improved its score, gaining a total of 6 points since 2012. According to the latest results, our country is the 14th freest among the 42 countries surveyed in the Asia-Pacific region.
Among the successes lauded in the report are the country’s management of public finance and progress in improving the entrepreneurial environment, including the government’s efforts to develop a more vibrant private sector. The index also noted the steady growth of the Philippine economy over the past five years, as well as the gradual modernization of the financial sector. In terms of regulatory efficiency, the report observed that the time and cost of dealing with licensing requirements have notably improved.
These results once again affirm our belief that good governance is good economics. Apart from serving as a strong testament to the effectiveness of reforms, this positive news clearly shows how the Philippines has been progressing under the Aquino administration, and points toward even greater development—so long as we continue along the Straight Path. During the next elections, it will be up to our Bosses to chart the country’s future—whether we will gainfully sustain this upward trajectory, or either return to the regressive ways of the past or head toward an uncertain future.