Fiscal reforms bolster Philippines' competitiveness upgrade

MANILA, Oct. 6 -- Budget Secretary Florencio 'Butch' Abad hailed the Aquino Administration’s governance and fiscal reform efforts as the Philippines leaps five notches in the global competitiveness ranking.

The Philippines placed 47th out of 140 competitive economies in this year’s Global Competitiveness Index released by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

"This is proof of the success of our fiscal and governance reforms," Abad said.

The Budget Secretary also said that along with the improvements in the country's fiscal and budget transparency rankings, the said report shows that the world supports the Philippines' drive for good governance.

However, Abad admits that there is still more work to be done from streamlining the bureaucracy, to improving the country’s infrastructure.

"But we are heartened by the global recognition of our efforts that is solidifying our reputation as one of the world’s most promising economies,” he added.

WEF’s Global Competitiveness Report for 2015-2016 noted the Philippines as moving up by five places to No. 47 out of 140 economies this year, from No. 52 out of 144 in 2014. This report affirms the goal of the National Competitiveness Council (NCC) to place the country at the top third of the world rankings.

The Philippines is also the most improved economy in terms of competitiveness rankings in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and the world as it moved by 38 spots in five years from No. 85 in 2010. The Report assesses global economies against the Index’s “12 Pillars of Competitiveness” based on 114 indicators that drive productivity.

“We’ve seen how the reforms we’ve implemented have helped create a more enabling environment for business that is currently fueling our economic progress. But we can only ensure this becomes inclusive growth if we can sustain the country’s upward development while helping more Filipinos out of poverty,” Abad said.

First introduced in 2004, the WEF Global Competitiveness Report monitors the competitiveness of countries based on their performance in 12 categories. The latter includes a country’s institutions, infrastructure, market and economic environment, health and basic education, among others. The report shows improvements among all pillars as compared to 2011 data, particularly with innovation, institutions, and macroeconomic environment. (DBM)


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