The Philippines dropped nine places to rank 70th among 186 economies in terms of economic freedom this year from 61st in 2018, according to the Heritage Foundation.
The country received lower scores in 10 sub-indices that included tax burden and judicial effectiveness in 2019.
According to the Heritage Foundation, the Philippines’ score fell to 30.9 from 34.4 in terms of government integrity; judicial effectiveness from 38.2 to 36.4; tax burden, from 78.9 to 76.9; government spending, from 89.3 to 88.7; fiscal health, from 97.7 to 97.1; and business freedom, from 62.6 to 61.3.
It said that while there was an improvement in the property rights and labor freedom sub-indices, the reduction in scores in the ten other sub-indices caused a net reduction in overall score of 63.8, which was slightly better than that of France.
The Department of Finance said as in any measure, the index left out important details. It said the foundation put a premium on small government without regard for the economy’s developmental stage.
“But a developing economy may require greater government involvement in the economy as in the provision of infrastructure and social services such as basic education, health, and social protection,” the DoF said.