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PH improves ‘economic freedom’ – US survey

WASHINGTON, D.C. The Philippines moved up a dozen notches in the Index of Economic Freedom, a metric put out by the conservative think-tank The Heritage Foundation to measure business and investment conditions in some 180 countries.

“Despite the challenging global economic environment, the Philippines has achieved notable economic expansion, driven by the economy’s strong export performance and inflows of remittances that have bolstered private consumption,” noted the Heritage Foundation in its 2017 Index of Economic Freedom.

The Philippines improved to 58th place in 2017 from 70th in 2016 in the annual survey it published in February.

The 2017 Index graded economies based on 12 independent factors called Economic Freedoms, with the addition of Judicial Effectiveness and Fiscal Health this year. The Philippines showed improvements in property rights (+19.2); monetary freedom (+2.9); and labor freedom (+.1).

While noting the problems posed by absent entrepreneurial dynamism, still needed institutional reforms, and a weak judicial system in the Philippines, the Heritage Foundation also highlighted positive developments.

It recognized that the Government is pursuing a series of legislative reforms to enhance the overall entrepreneurial environment and develop a stronger private sector in order to generate broader-based job growth. It also said that some fiscal reforms have been accomplished.

The Philippines achieved an Economic Freedom Score of 65.6 out of a possible 100, which is significantly better than the global and regional averages. The Philippines ranked 14th among the countries in the Asia-Pacific that were surveyed.

The country’s acting ambassador in Washington, Charge d’Affaires Patrick A. Chuasoto lauded the report. “It clearly indicates the sustainability of the robust and excellent Philippine economic performance of the last few years. We hope that this underpins continued business and investor confidence in one of Asia’s most dynamic economies,” he said.

 

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