Environmental Performance Index

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Environmental Performance Index

The Environmental Performance Index of Yale University and Columbia University evaluates the environmental performance of 163 countries. In the 2010 index, the Philippines did well, ranking 50th overall, 8th among the Asia-Pacific nations, and 2nd among the ASEAN-6 (see Figure 54 for the percentile rankings).

The Philippines is being left behind by many of its neighbors in terms of competitiveness. In most competitiveness surveys, its ranking has been sliding while its ASEAN neighbors, particularly Indonesia and Vietnam, ranked lower in the past years, have been overtaking the Philippines. Figures 55 and 56 show the Philippines being left behind by other countries in attracting foreign investment.

Figure 55: Editorial cartoon showing Philippines left out of FDI in Southeast Asia
Figure 56

As these figures clearly demonstrate, the Philippines has been on a downward trajectory in international competitiveness rankings during the current decade, especially for corruption, governance, and infrastructure. Focused efforts to reverse the trend have been underway for more than three years but have yet to prove their effectiveness.

The rankings affect the levels of foreign investment the country receives. When potential new investors see from the rankings that infrastructure is poor, corruption high, rule of law weak, and political stability a major concern they are likely to look elsewhere. Some investors, such as in IT-BPO and mining, may have few other locations because they are seeking the English skills of Filipinos or to develop the country’s large mineral resources. But most investors have wider choices and are likely to decide to invest in countries ranked better than the Philippines.

Efforts to reverse the trend must be sustained and intensified to produce more positive results sooner. Arangkada Philippines 2010 lists recommendations to improve the competitiveness landscape of the Philippines.