PHL climbs in World Bank's governance report (GMA News)

The Philippines rose in the World Bank's latest governance report, which bode well for the country's business climate in attracting more investments.


Based on the 2013 Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI) report the Washington-based multilateral lender released Monday, the Philippines improved its rankings in four out of six indicators, showing that the Aquino administration’s agenda on good governance is creating a positive impact on how the world sees the country.


More than 200 countries and territories were covered by the global surveys for the 2013 WGI report.


It is a positive development that the Philippines has improved on tough indicators, National Competitiveness Council co-chair Guillermo Luz told GMA News Online.


"I agree that our ranking should go up as there's no question that the government has put up a lot of improvements in governance," he said.


"The WGI will be positive for the country as investors, credit ratings agencies always look at governance indicators," he noted.


In an e-mailed statement, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said the country’s achievement in the area of governance complements the gains on the economic front – including maintenance of within-target inflation and stability in the financial system.


"These accomplishments will help attain the goal of a sustainable and a more inclusive growth,” he said.     


In latest WGI report, the four indicators where the Philippines registered better percentile rankings in 2013 compared with 2012 were in “voice and accountability,” “political stability and absence of violence,” “rule of law” and “control of corruption.”


Under “voice and accountability,” the Philippines’ ranking improved to 47.9 last year from 46.9 percent in 2012, which means it fared better than 47.9 percent of the countries and territories covered.


Under “political stability and absence of violence,” the Philippines’ percentile ranking rose to 16.6 from 14.2.


Under “rule of law,” the country’s percentile ranking jumped to 41.7 from 36.5.


Corruption control

The biggest improvement was in the area of “control of corruption,” where the Philippine ranking leaped to 43.5 from 33.5.


The better ranking the four indicators is a welcome development for the Aquino administration, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said in the same statement.


"International recognition of the Aquino administration’s good-governance agenda is vital in gaining confidence, which is necessary for our quest for even more investments,” he said.


In the area of “regulatory quality,” the Philippine ranking was unchanged at 51.7


It was only in the area of “government effectiveness” where the percentile ranking of the Philippines slipped, particularly from 57.9 to 56.9. The Philippines’ percentile ranking in government effectiveness has, nevertheless, improved since 2010 when it ranked 54.1 in view of improvements in the assessments from data sources used in the WGI.


The Philippines has made substantial leap in its WGI rankings since the start of the Aquino administration took the helm of government in 2010.


The most notable improvements from 2010 to 2013 were in the areas of “political stability” and “control of corruption,” under which the country’s rankings jumped in double-digit terms.


The Philippines’ latest ranking in “political stability” was up by 11.4 percentage points from only 5.2 in 2010. Political stability, as defined by WGI, reflects perceptions of the likelihood that the government will be destabilized or overthrown by unconstitutional or violent means, including politically motivated violence and terrorism.


Moreover, the Philippines’ latest ranking in “control of corruption” was up by 21.1 percentage points from 22.4 in 2010. WGI defines Control of Corruption as reflecting perceptions of the extent to which public power is exercised for private gain, including both petty and grand forms of corruption, as well as "capture" of the state by elites and private interests. 


This pace of improvement since 2010 was faster than Indonesia’s 6.4-percentage point jump (to 31.6 from 25.2), Thailand’s 1.2-percentage point improvement (to 49.3 from 48.1), Vietnam’s 5.4-percentage point gain (to 36.8 from 31.4), and Malaysia’s 5.5-percentage point increase (to 68.4 from 62.9).


By: Danessa O. Rivera

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