Philippines registers lower quality of gov't, democracy after nearly a decade — governance index

Philippines registers lower quality of gov't, democracy after nearly a decade â governance index
Commissioners sing the national anthem during the proclamation of the elected senators at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay, Metro Manila on May 18, 2022.
AFP / Jam Sta. Rosa

MANILA, Philippines — The country registered a lower quality of government and democracy in 2019, compared to its scores nearly a decade before, according to the latest Berggruen Governance Index (BGI). 

BGI's latest report, released days ago, showed that the Philippines' state capacity or quality of government fell by around 13% to a score of 39.8 in 2019, compared to its level in 2010.

State capacity refers to the "ability of the government to achieve its primary goals, including generating revenues, organizing collective actions and fulfilling its commitments," BGI said. 

In giving a score to the Philippines' quality of government, the index considered factors such as tax administration, state-society relations, and absence of public sector theft, among others.

According to the BGI, the country also scored lower in terms of its quality of democracy in 2019 at 60.6, slipping by around 14%, compared to its level in 2010. 

The quality of democracy or democratic accountability refers to the "ability of locals to check the government's power and demand the state to justify its actions through electoral, institutional and societal means." Some factors in determining the country's quality of democracy include judicial oversight, suffrage, media freedom and freedom of expresion, among others. 

The BGI did not give any detailed explanations on what exactly caused the decline in both the country's quality of government and democratic accountability over the past decade.

The country fared better, however, in terms of providing public goods for its citizens, after scoring 65.5 in 2019, higher by about 14% versus its figure in 2010. 

Public goods cover both goods which citizens do not compete over, like clean air; and those which are partially excluded such as basic medical care and education.

The BGI is a collaborative project between UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and the Los Angeles-based independent thinktank Berggruen Institute. It looks into the relationship between state capacity, the provision of public goods and democratic accountability. 

Over 20 years, BGI has evaluated more than 134 countries, including the Philippines. BGI says its data is a "powerful tool for policymakers, researchers and the public at large to analyze and improve government effectiveness." — Angelica Y. Yang




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