The Philippines is the 56th most competitive country in the world, according to a survey by the World Economic Forum.
The Global Competitiveness Report measures and ranks the competitiveness of 137 economies in 12 pillars driving productivity and prosperity.
Our Asean neighbor, Singapore, ranks third in the 2017-2018 report. Others who made it to the Top 10 were Switzerland, the United States, The Netherlands, Germany, Hong Kong, Sweden, United Kingdom, Japan and Finland.
This year’s report, according to WEF founder and executive chairman Klaus Schwab, highlights the role of a country’s innovative capacity in competitiveness.
Technological advances, which have steadily displaced workers and rendered numerous jobs redundant, create greater challenges to the global labor force.
The Philippines’ marginal improvement from 57th place last year offers little consolation especially if we bear in mind that 138 countries were evaluated last year.
It’s not always the overall ranking, too, but the specifics that would tell the story.
For instance, in the Institutions pillar, our performance falls dismally below the average for economies in East Asia and the Pacific.
That our institutions, especially public ones, are weak is tied to the most problematic factor for doing business: Inefficient government bureaucracy.
The inadequate supply of infrastructure comes a close second problem, with corruption not too far behind.
Per pillar, we rank 94th in institutions, 97th in infrastructure, 22nd in macroeconomic environment, 82nd in health and primary education, 55th in higher education and training, 103rd in goods market efficiency, 84th in labor market efficiency, 52nd in financial market development, 83rd in technological readiness, 27th in market size, 58th in business sophistication and 65th in innovation.
It is a given we face multiple problems on multiple fronts. While our officials believe they are doing everything they can—we have no reason to doubt their unadulterated intentions for the people—they must every now and then step back and look at how we are doing compared to the rest of the world.
Addressing these inadequacies that hamper our competitiveness will have long-term effects, even after they are no longer in office, even if they will no longer be able to stamp their name in every accomplishment. Remember: It’s not about them, but the people.
Where to start? They only need to go to the website of the WEF and find out where we are coasting along, and where we are on the brink of drowning.