Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
|NINFA R. LEONARDIA|
Editor-in-Chief & President
NIDA A. BUENAFE
MAJA P. DELY
ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA|
According to the World Economic Forum the competitiveness ranking of the Philippines has improved by six notches, rising to 59th from last year’s 65th spot. Of the 10 Southeast Asian countries included in the report, our country placed sixth in terms of competitiveness, beating Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar while trailing behind Singapore (2nd place worldwide), Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand and Indonesia.
The good news is that this improved ranking is not a fluke, as the Philippines’ competitiveness ranking has improved by a total of 26 places since it ranked an embarrassing 85th in 2010. The WEF’s Global Competitiveness Report that covers 148 countries measures productivity and competitiveness based on over 100 factors grouped into 12 pillars. The Philippines’ ranking improved as it posted gains in 9 out of 12 pillars.
We posted gains in the following pillars: innovation, institutions, financial market development, goods market efficiency, labor market efficiency, infrastructure, health and primary education, technological readiness and market size. There were declines in the pillars of macroeconomic environment, higher education and training, and business sophistication. It was also interesting to note that corruption, which has been the number one problematic factor for doing business in the Philippines since 2003, was finally displaced by inadequate supply on infrastructure.
No one can deny that improved competitiveness, according to the yearly report of a reputable think tank is something that any government can be proud of and along with the robust GDP growth numbers for the second quarter, this is definitely something that the Aquino administration deserves to crow about. But as they take credit for the achievements and the gains, we hope that they are fully aware that this is just the beginning and with time running out, more has to be done if the man on the street is going to feel any of the tangible effects of these improvements.
We are making progress but corruption remains an issue, more jobs need to be created, Filipinos are still hungry, and our health and educational systems simply cannot compete with those of our neighbors. Our government has a lot on its plate and it needs everybody’s help, support, and encouragement; not just where the pork barrel scandal is concerned, but in all the other pillars as well.*