THIS year's rating as in the past, measured the degree of economic freedom in five areas: - (1) size of government (2) legal structure and security of property rights (3) access to sound money (4) freedom to trade internationally and (5) regulation of credit, labor and business. We rated fair in (1) and (4) and poor in the other three factors. This puts us in the "middling" category. Which isn't that bad considering that our latest ratings in areas such as transparency, corruption, and competitiveness have been negative. A book launching of the 2008 Economic Freedom of the World Report marked the celebration of two anniversaries, the 50th for the Friedrich Naumann Stiftung (FNS) and the 10th for the Economic Freedom Network Asia.
Siegfried Herzog who is current country representative of FNS states that unlike other countries in the region, especially China and India, our rating has not made a steady improvement. The highest was during the time of President Ramos, but since then it had been on the decline. Dr. Fernando Aldaba, president of the Philippine Economic Society reinforces this observation and attributes it to weak governance - deterioration of many of our institutions as well as cases of corruption.
FNS supports several country programs on human rights, rule of law, free market economy, in partnership with the UP, Ateneo, and the Center for Research and Communication, a co-sponsor of the Economic Freedom of the World Report. It also assists political and economic institutions in 70 countries. It assists our local Liberal Party and the Council of Asian Liberal Democracy (CALD) in promoting liberal democracy.
At the launch of the Philippine edition of the Economic Freedom Report, Senator Mar Roxas and Liberal Party president, emphasized the importance of economic literacy and economic freedom which he notes, are critical imperatives in a stable democracy. Those who are financially illiterate are often exploited, citing this, and two others - corruption and a weak legal structure as principal hurdles. …