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14 January 2014

WASHINGTON, DC—The Philippine Embassy today welcomed the results of the 2014 Index of Economic Freedom of the Heritage Foundation where the Philippines improved its standing by jumping eight places from last year.

The Philippines now ranks 89th out of 178 countries with an economic freedom score of 60.1, placing it in the “moderately free” category. This is a notable improvement from last year when the country was 97th out of 177 with a score of 58.2 that placed it in the “mostly unfree” category.

The Heritage Foundation said that economic freedom in the Philippines advanced 5.1 points with improvements  noted in seven of the 10 indicators—property rights; freedom from corruption; business freedom; monetary freedom; trade freedom; investment freedom; and financial freedom.

The Index of Economic Freedom, now on its 20th year, ranks countries based on 10 quantitative and qualitative factors that are grouped into four categories—rule of law, limited government, regulatory efficiency, and open markets.

The Philippine economy, which the Heritage Foundation notes as “demonstrating a high degree of resilience,” has recorded average annual growth of around 5 percent in the past five years.

Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. welcomed the good news at a media reception hosted by the Philippine Embassy.

“The Philippines has moved from becoming the sick man of Asia to one of the tigers of the region. We welcome this good news and hope that this economic growth continues,” Ambassador Cuisia told members of the media.

“There is still much to be done in the areas affected by Typhoon Haiyan, but I am positive that jobs, livelihood, and the economies of those affected provinces will recover soon,” said Ambassador Cuisia.

Compared to ASEAN member countries, the Philippines outranked Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar, while it trailed Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, and Thailand.

The Index of Economic Freedom is released annually by the Heritage Foundation, a conservative research think tank based in Washington, DC. The Index is a joint publication with the Wall Street Journal.###