MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines outperformed Australia, United States and Singapore in the Environmental Performance Index (EPI), which recognizes economies in the world and their performance in protecting the environment.
In the biennial report prepared by Yale and Columbia Universities, the country ranked 42nd and considered a “strong performer.” The country was 50th in the last index.
Australia was ranked 48th, the US 49th, Singapore 52nd and Bulgaria 53rd, all under the "modest performers" category.
EPI ranked 132 countries on 22 performance indicators across ten policy categories under two policy objectives: Environmental Health and Ecosystem Vitality. The Philippines gained perfect scores in the indicators for outdoor air pollution, change in forest cover, and growing stocks in forests.
A higher EPI rank indicates that a country or region is closer to achieving its established goals in environmental policy.
The study, which is in collaboration with the World Economic Forum and the Joint Research Center, studies data to analyze how the global community is doing on particular policy issues against environmental pressures, and is used to steer individual countries toward environmental sustainability.
In the Asia Pacific region, the country remained at the 8th spot. South Korea, Australia and Singapore ranked ninth, tenth and eleventh, respectively.
Environment Secretary Ramon Paje said the country’s strong performance is due to strong regulatory efforts of the government.
The country reported a 30 per cent drop in the amount of total suspended particulates (TSPs) from 166 µg/Ncm (micrograms per normal cubic meter) in June 2010, to 116 µg/Ncm towards the end of last year. The normal standard set for TSP by the World Health Organization is 90 µg/Ncm. Particulate matter or dust contributes to respiratory infections and other diseases.
He also cited the issuance of Executive Orders No. 23 and 26, which dealt with forest protection.
"We would like to share this achievement with all the sectors and stakeholders, including other agencies of the government, who have collaborated with us in our programs, particularly in cleaning the air and water, forest protection, national greening program, biodiversity conservation, and other environmental protection initiatives," Paje said.