NCC concerned over Phl’s sliding competitiveness

Published by rudy Date posted on May 29, 2011

MANILA, Philippines – The sliding competitiveness ranking of the Philippines in Asia-Pacific is a cause for concern and immediate action, the National Competitiveness Council (NCC) said.

The Philippines slipped two notches down from 39th to 41st place in the 2011 World Competitiveness Yearbook released by the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) last May 18. Based on the survey results, the Philippines ranked poorly in the following indicators: 56th in foreign direct investments, basic education and basic infrastructure; and 58th in scientific infrastructure.

On the other hand, the country performed well in the following fields: first in worker skills and number of females in top management posts, fourth in labor productivity and fifth in labor market efficiency. The country’s economic performance also improved its ranking to 34, five notches up from 2010, which is attributed to the GDP increase of 7.6 percent last year. The country also ranked 18th in international trade.

The IMD proposed that the country should concentrate on lowering the cost of doing business, which hampers the nation’s competitiveness. For the long term, the Philippine should focus on the following concerns: access to basic education, scientific infrastructure, energy, transportation, value chain, and infrastructure.

“This is a wake up call and a signal for us to work harder,” said Guillermo Luz, private sector co-chairman of NCC.

Luz added that the council will focus on the country’s lowest ranking indicators including infrastructure, governance and ease of doing business. The NCC will map each indicator and assign it to the concerned agencies which will identify and implement programs to improve the said areas.

The NCC projects will also be aligned with the Philippine Development Plan, the national budget, other development policies to ensure better efficiency and coordination of effort. Luz also called on all agencies of the government and the private sector to collectively work harder together so the Philippines can move up in the global competitiveness ranking.

Meanwhile, Luz said that the plan is to improve the ranking significantly within five years wherein the Philippines will belong to the top 50 of the Doing Business Survey of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank.

Luz said the ranking of the Philippines has been declining in the past three years although they hope that this trend will reverse. “We need to work harder.”

The IFC survey placed the Philippines at the bottom half with a ranking of 148 out of the 184 countries surveyed.

Luz noted that if they are successful in their reforms, the Philippines will be number two or number three among the ASEAN member-countries.

Luz said they are expecting that in 2012, the ranking of the Philippines will be between 130 to 120. “We want to jump at least five steps and as we get better we can take a bigger leap.” He noted that the IFC will release its 2011 report in October. –Ma. Elisa P. Osorio (The Philippine Star)

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