Rule Of Law: Still A Major Concern

CHICAGO (FAXXNA/jGLi) – Although the Philippines continues to “enjoy moderate but improving levels of economic freedom,” the “(r)ule of law continues to be a major concern, as ownership structures remain from the time of President Ferdinand Marcos.”

According to the Washington, D.C.’s “The Heritage Foundation,” which claims to be the nation’s most broadly supported public policy research institute, “The Philippine leaders must look to strengthen the rule of law and combat corruption if they want to sustain their score improvements.”

In a press release Monday (Jan. 13), The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal, the most widely circulating daily U.S. newspaper (with 2-million circulation) said, the Philippines continues to enjoy moderate, but improving, levels of economic freedom according to the 2014 Index of Economic Freedom published annually by The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal.

The Philippines’ economic freedom score is 60.1, making its economy the 89th freest in the 2014 Index. Its overall rank is unchanged from last year. The Philippines are ranked 16 out of 43 countries in the Asia and the Pacific region, and its score is at the regional and world averages.

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.

PH SHOWS CONSISTENT SCORE IMPROVEMENT

According to Ambassador Terry Miller, co-author of the 2014 Index of Economic Freedom and Director of The Heritage Foundation’s Center for International Trade and Economics, “The Philippines has shown consistent score improvement in the Index for a number of years, showing a dedication to reform amongst the country’s leadership. Rule of law continues to be a major concern, as ownership structures remain from the time of President Ferdinand Marcos. Philippine leaders must look to strengthen the rule of law and combat corruption if they want to sustain their score improvements.”

The Index of Economic Freedom rates 186 countries in ten categories of economic performance: rule of law, regulatory efficiency, limited government, and open markets. The Index promotes individual empowerment, free and open competition, government transparency, and equal opportunity for all.

Hong Kong and Singapore finished 1st and 2nd in the rankings for the 20th straight year.  The world average score of 60.3—seven-tenths of a point above the 2013 average—is the highest average in the two-decade history of the Index. Forty-three countries, including Singapore and Sweden, achieved their highest scores yet in the 2014 Index. Among the 178 countries ranked, scores improved for 114 countries and declined for 59. Four recorded no score change.

The 2014 Index was edited by Ambassador Miller, director of Heritage’s Center for International Trade and Economics; Anthony B. Kim, senior policy analyst in the Center for International Trade and Economics; and Kim Holmes, Ph.D., Heritage’s Distinguished Fellow.

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