It's GMA's fault, Palace says of low economic freedom ranking

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 13 2011 05:52 PM | Updated as of Jan 14 2011 05:11 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang on Thursday blamed the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo for the country's low ranking in the 2011 Index of Economic Freedom compiled by the Heritage Foundation.

In a press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said the indicators measured in the study were taken during the second half of 2009 to first half of 2010 right before President Benigno Aquino III took over. He said the information used for the index is current as of June 30, 2010.

Lacierda said the Aquino administration is working to improve business conditions in the country, like the issue of business registration.

He said the Palace hopes for better rankings in the 2012 index.

The 2011 Index identified the Philippines as one of the "mostly unfree" economies in the world due to pervasive corruption in the government, the weak judicial system, and unsound economic policies.

The Philippines’ economic freedom score is 56.2, making its economy the 115th freest in the 2011 Index. Its score is 0.2 point lower than last year, with small reductions in business and labor freedom offsetting modest gains in monetary freedom and freedom from corruption.

The Philippines ranks 21st out of 41 countries in the Asia–Pacific region, and its overall score is slightly below the world and regional averages.