The Philippines improved eight notches higher this year in the world ranking of Economic Freedom of the Heritage Foundation.
The country now ranks 107th freest of the 179 economies surveyed in 2012 with a score of 57.1 compared to last year’s ranking of 115th and score of 56.2.
PH ranks 19th out of 41 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, surpassing other emerging economies such as Indonesia, India, China and Vietnam.
“The HF report is an affirmation of the bold, results-oriented reforms our administration has initiated and continues to pursue in the economy and its institutions,” Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said in a statement Thursday.
According to the report, despite the challenging economic environment, “the Philippine economy has been on a steady path of economic reform.”
It noted that the country’s business freedom improved considerably, with the "time and cost involved in dealing with licensing requirements have been notably reduced."
"The labor market remains structurally rigid but existing regulations are not particularly burdensome,” HF said.
The report added that the Philippine government has “pursued a series of legislative reforms to enhance the entrepreneurial environment and develop a stronger private sector to generate broader-based job growth.”
An inefficient judiciary, however, continues to be a deterrent, according to HF, as the country “remains susceptible to political interference” and “does not provide effective protection for property rights or strong and transparent enforcement of the law.”
Think tank Heritage Foundation seeks to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, and a strong national defense.
Philippine economic growth in the first quarter slowed to a three-year low of 5.2 percent, well below forecasts, due to lethargic government spending and weak exports, officials said Thursday. "While growth in the private sector remains robust, the slower than programmed pace of public spending, particularly the decline in public construction, has slowed down the overall growth of the economy," Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan told reporters. "Exports were the other source of the …