The Philippines improved its ranking from 76th to 70th place among the world’s freest economies in The Heritage Foundation’s 2016 Index of Economic Freedom..

The Philippines recorded the highest score it received since the index started in 1995, after recording 63.1 out of 100 points, higher than last year’s 62.2 points.

2016 Index of Economic Freedom, (Screengrab from

The country was the 14th freest among 42 economies in the Asia-Pacific region.


Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said that the country’s “management of public finance and progress in improving the entrepreneurial environment, including the government’s efforts to develop a more vibrant private sector” as a factor in the improvement of the country’s ranking.

“These results once again affirm our belief that good governance is good economics. Apart from serving as a strong testament to the effectiveness of reforms, this positive news clearly shows how the Philippines has been progressing under the Aquino administration, and points toward even greater development—so long as we continue along the Straight Path,” Lacierda said in a statement.

“During the next elections, it will be up to our Bosses to chart the country’s future—whether we will gainfully sustain this upward trajectory, or either return to the regressive ways of the past or head toward an uncertain future,” he added.

“The index also noted the steady growth of the Philippine economy over the past five years, as well as the gradual modernization of the financial sector. In terms of regulatory efficiency, the report observed that the time and cost of dealing with licensing requirements have notably improved,” Lacierda said.

Hong Kong emerged as the freest economy with an overall score 88.6, while North Korea landed at the bottom of the list with a 2.3 score.

The Philippines outscored China in many aspects like business freedom, trade freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom and property rights.

2016 Index of Economic Freedom, (Screengrab from

“Economic freedom is the key to greater opportunity and an improved quality of life. It’s the freedom to choose how to produce, sell, and use your own resources, while respecting others’ rights to do the same. While a simple concept, it is an engine that drives prosperity in the world and is the difference between why some societies thrive while others do not.” 

-John Esconde