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Home Community RP Government Updates Veep Binay Told PH “Has Made Notable Recovery”
Veep Binay Told PH “Has Made Notable Recovery” PDF Print E-mail
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Communities - RP Government Updates
Friday, 04 February 2011 15:23

 

By JOSEPH G. LARIOSA

(© 2011 Journal Group Link International)

  

V isiting Philippine Vice President Jejomar C. Binay was told by his host that “despite the challenging global economic environment, the Philippines has made a notable recovery since mid-2009, driven mainly by strong export performance.”

 

But he was also told by officials of Heritage Foundation, a Washington, D.C. think tank, that the “absence of entrepreneurial dynamism still makes long-term economic development a difficult task.”

 

This assessment was contained in the “2011 Index of Economic Freedom,” a publication of the Heritage Foundation, that was handed to the Vice President when he visited the office of the foundation Thursday, Feb. 3.

 

The “2011 Index of Economic Freedom” also noted that the Philippines’ economic freedom score is 56.2, making its economy the 115th freest. Its score is 0.2 point lower than last year, with small reductions in business and labor freedom offsetting modest gains in monetary freedom and freedom from corruption.

 

He was also told that the “Philippines ranks 21st out of 41 countries in the Asia–Pacific region, and its overall score is slightly below the world and regional averages.”

 

The report also noted that the Philippines has “pursued a series of legislative reforms to enhance the entrepreneurial environment and develop a stronger private sector to generate broader-based job growth. Progress has been mixed, although some fiscal reforms have been accomplished.


“Deeper institutional reforms are required in four interrelated areas: business freedom, investment freedom, property rights, and freedom from corruption. The government imposes formal and non-formal barriers to foreign investment, and foreign remittances do little to promote sustainable growth. The judicial system remains weak and vulnerable to political influence and corruption.”

 

A press release sent to this reporter by Nick Zahn, Director, Washington Roundtable for the Asian Pacific Press at The Heritage Foundation, said Mr. Binay met with Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D.,Vice President of Foreign and Defense Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation and Walter Lohman, Director of the Foundation's Asian Studies Center to discuss the findings of the 2011 Index of Economic Freedom.

 

The private discussion also ranged on a number of other issues, including the state of the Philippines-US alliance, conflicting claims in the South China Sea, and the security situation in Mindanao.

  

"It says a lot about the commitment of the Aquino administration to economic reform that the Vice President would make a special stop at Heritage to meet with the author of the Index, Dr. Holmes, and the team of specialists charged with the research," said Lohman.

 

"Using the Philippines score in the Index as a base line, we offered some ideas for how the economic environment could be improved and the Philippines’ high 2010 growth sustained.  The Vice President was very receptive."

 

Vice President Binay’s delegation included Ambassador Willy Gaa of the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C., Makati Mayor Hon. Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr., Rep. Rodolfo Plaza, former Flag Officer in Command of the Philippine Navy Vice Admiral (Ret.) Ferdinand Golez, Hon. Leonora Vasquez-De Jesus, Former Senator Francisco Tatad, and Amb. Jose Apolinario Lozada, Jr.

 

Heritage representatives joining Dr. Holmes and Lohman, included James Dean, Deputy Director, Government Relations; Anthony Kim, Policy Analyst, Center for International Trade and Economics; Nick Zahn, Director of the Washington Roundtable for the Asia Pacific Press; Bryan Riley, Jay Van Andel Senior Policy Analyst in Trade Policy; and Nicholas Hamisevicz Research Associate, Asian Studies Center.

 

At the second day of his visit, the Manila Bulletin reported that the Vice President took part in a roundtable discussion with representatives of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), the John Hopkins University, and the Woodrow Wilson International Center.

 

Mr. Binay told the group that the “Philippine government instills good governance, as well as combat trafficking in persons.”

 

CNAS focuses on terrorism and irregular warfare, the future of the US military, the emergence of Asia as a global power center, and the national security implications of natural resource consumption.

 

Mr. Binay was earlier reported to have been invited by the World Bank to speak before its officials.

 

Atty. Arnedo S. Valera, co-executive director of the Migrant Heritage Commission, said he also handed a letter, asking for an accounting of the $25-contribution being collected by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration from each OFW who departs from the Philippines to work overseas.

 

Mr. Binay and party are reportedly due to return to Manila Friday, Feb. 4. (lariosa_jos@sbcglobal.net)





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