MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Philippines jumped 6 notches higher in its ranking in the 2013 edition of the Global Competitiveness Index, marking the strides the country has made to improve productivity levels.
Released by the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Wednesday, September 4, the index showed that the Philippines ranked 59th among 148 countries with a score of 4.29.
“The Philippines—where a national competitiveness council was set up in 2006—has made significant strides against corruption,” WEF said, noting how this has boosted the country’s ranking amid a world economy that is still emerging slowly “from the most serious economic crisis of the post–World War II period—one that has deeply transformed the global economy.”
Since 2010, when the Philippines ranked 85th, the country has leapfrogged 26 notches already.
Its most significant strides were in 2011 and 2012, when it jumped 10 notches higher in both years, making the Philippines one of the most improved in the world.
Compared to neighbors in Southeast Asia, the Philippines placed behind Singapore (2nd), Malaysia (24th), Thailand (37th), Indonesia (38th), China (29th), Korea (23rd). It ranked higher than Vietnam (70th), Cambodia (88th), Lao (81st).
The Philippines, which was 40 places behind in 2006, is now ahead of India (60th). Its rank differential with China is 29, up from just 8 in 2006.
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The index benchmarks the 148 countries against 12 pillars of competitiveness, which the WEF defines as “a set of institutions, policies, and factors that determine the level of productivity of a country.”
The WEF stressed that the Philippines has leapfrogged over the past years in the institutions pillar (79th).
“The current government, which came into power in 2010, has made the fight against corruption an absolute priority; corruption had historically been one of the country’s biggest drags on competitiveness.”
This has produced noticeable results in the following pillars: in the ethics and corruption category, the Philippines jumped to 87th from 135th. The same trend was observed in the government efficiency category (75th).
“The recent successes of the government in tackling some of the most pressing structural issues are encouraging and proof that bold reforms and measures can yield positive results.” Yes, the Philippines cannot afford to be complacent, the WEF warned.
It highlighted that transport infrastructure has improved but remains in a dire state (84th), especially with respect to airport (113th) and seaport facilities (116th).
The labor market, too, “has become more flexible and efficient over the years, but the Philippines still ranks a low 100th.”
See more Philippine details in the tables and graphic below. They are screenshots from the WEF report.