The Index of Economic Freedom is an annual guide published by the Heritage Foundation, which ranks 179 countries based on their economic success as gauged by ten identified benchmark areas. In the 2010 index, the Philippines ranked 109th out of 179 countries and 4th among the ASEAN-6. The country ranked a poor 5th in labor freedom and 6th among the ASEAN-6 in business freedom and freedom from corruption. Philippine strengths are in government spending and investment freedom, where it ranked 2nd, and in monetary freedom and financial freedom, where it ranked 3rd. The percentile rank of the Philippines has fallen sharply since 2001, from 55th to 39th in 2010 (See Figure 33). Figure 34 portrays the steep fall of the Philippine ranking in 2010.
Figure 33: Index of economic freedom in percentile rankings among the ASEAN-6 from 2001 to 2013
Sources: Heritage Foundation and author’s calculations
Figure 34: Editorial cartoon published on release day of the Economic Freedom Rankings in 2010
Source: The Philippine Star, 30 January 2010