PHL slips in the index of human freedom; economic freedom driven by a poor score in the “rule of law”

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Filipinos have become less “free” as the Philippines slipped five notches in the Human Freedom Index (HFI) co-published by three foreign think tanks.

The Philippines was ranked 76th out of 162 economies in 2017, its lowest ranking on the index in four years. The country scored 6.88 out of a perfect score of 10, which is lower than the 6.98 score posted in 2016.

The HFI, co-published by the Cato Institute, the Fraser Institute in Canada and the Liberales Institut of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom in Germany, ranks 162 countries based on 76 separate indicators of personal, civil and economic freedom, using data from 2008 to 2017.

“The HFI captures the degree to which people are free to enjoy important rights, such as freedom of speech, religion, association and assembly, and also measures freedom of movement, women’s freedoms, crime. and violence, and legal discrimination against same-sex relationships, ”the Cato Institute said in a statement.

On a scale of zero to 10, where 10 is more freedom, the Philippines scored 7.32 in economic freedom, higher than their score of 7.3 in 2016, and 6.44 in personal freedom. , lower than the score of 6.66 in 2016.

In matters of personal freedom, the Philippines scored the lowest in rule of law with 3.4 out of 10. This was greatly affected by the score of 2.2 out of 10 in procedural justice, followed by justice criminal, 3.1 and civil justice, 4.7.

The country also posted a 6.7 out of 10 for safety and security, as well as identity and relationships. The performance of the Philippines in both indicators deteriorated in 2017 compared to 2016.

In terms of safety and security, the country’s score plunged to 5.9 in 2017 against 7.6 in 2016 in terms of disappearance, conflict and terrorism.

In terms of identity and relationships, the country scored zero on divorce. It can be noted that divorce is not yet allowed in the Philippines.

“With the rise of populism, nationalism and hybrid forms of authoritarianism, human rights and freedoms are under attack in many corners of the globe. Because of their intrinsic value and contribution to well-being, these freedoms deserve the strongest defense, ”said Tanja Porčnik, Assistant Researcher at the Cato Institute and Principal Investigator at the Fraser Institute.

The most free, the least free

However, in the region, the freest country is Singapore, which ranks 30th in the world, followed by Cambodia (63), the Philippines (76), Indonesia (81) and Timor-Leste (86). .

The least free country in the region is Myanmar (148), preceded by Pakistan (140) and Brunei Darussalam (tied for 140) and Bangladesh (138).

Globally, the top economies are New Zealand, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Canada, and Australia, while the last economy is Syria, followed by Venezuela, Yemen, Sudan, and Australia. Iraq.

In total, 61 countries increased their overall freedom scores from 2008 to 2017, while 79 countries saw decreases in their freedom scores.

About 16% of the world’s population live in the top quartile of nations in the index, while 35% live in the bottom quartile of countries with the lowest levels of freedom.

The authors also found that of the 12 main categories that make up the index, all but five experienced some deterioration. Religion, identity and relationships, and the rule of law saw the biggest declines since 2008, while Sound Money saw the biggest improvement.

Countries that have great personal freedom tend to display great economic freedom. The freest countries in the world by quartile enjoy a much higher income per person ($ 40,171) compared to those in the least free quartile ($ 15,721).

Additionally, the authors found a strong correlation between human freedom and democracy, with Hong Kong as an outlier in this regard.


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