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In the World Competitiveness Yearbook 2016, the Philippines is ranked 42nd among 61 countries, a one-notch fall from its 2015 ranking. While the country’s competitiveness record has been remarkably strong in the annual GCRs represented by a broad leap of 33 notches up in the overall rankings since 2010, recent findings in the WCYs over the same period have pointed to a rather relatively modest and sometimes erratic performance. WCY 2013 placed the Philippines 38th from 43 the previous year, only to fall to 42nd the next year. In 2015, the ranking slightly improved by one notch, but as earlier mentioned, it reverted to 42nd again in overall performance.

The WCY uses four broad factors in ranking the competitiveness of countries: a) Economic Performance; b) Government Efficiency; c) Business Efficiency; and d) Infrastructure. Each of them is divided into five sub-factors, totaling 20 sub-factors that altogether comprise 342 criteria/indicators. The process of evaluating the performance of countries in such criteria/indicators is informed both by hard data (e.g., GDP) or soft data (i.e. results of perception surveys).


The Philippine ranking in the Economic Performance declined this year by four notches to 38th. Under the first factor, however, huge improvements have been observed in Employment (from 26th to 19th) and International Investment (from 54 to 47th). Nonetheless, reverse falls have been noted in Prices and International Trade that experienced increased performances in 2015 from 2014.


Under Business Efficiency, sub-factor productivity and efficiency is an area where the Philippines has continued to improve its performance, ranking 42nd in 2014, 41st in 2015 and 36th this year. Moving from 5th to 4th in 2016, a greater improvement can be noted in the labor market sub-factor for which the Philippines has consistently been among the top performers.


Although exhibiting very slight increases in rankings from last year, other sub-factors indirectly related to labor and employment have historically been marked poorly, including in WCY 2016. These include Education and Health and Environment, for which the Philippines ranked 59th and 54th this year, respectively, out of 61 countries, posting crucial implications to the quality of the Filipino workforce.


The country has made significant strides in improving certain aspects of its competitiveness largely contributed by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) initiatives that have been identified in the multipartite formulated and endorsed Labor and Employment Plan (LEP) 2011 to 2016, and in the DOLE Roadmap to Decent Work. Sustaining the said DOLE-initiated reforms are seen to enable the country in achieving greater progress in its competitiveness, especially with the country transitioning towards the next medium-term development planning cycle, and as it faces the challenges of meeting the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  Analysis of the results of the 2016 WCY and the DOLE reforms and initiatives is discussed extensively in the ILS Philippine Performance Reports dated 31 May 2016.



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