Philippines' rank in Social Progress Index improves

MANILA (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - Comparing with how other Asean countries ranked in the 2017 Social Progress Index, the Philippines is ahead of Indonesia (79th), Myanmar (96th), Cambodia (98th) and Laos (99th). It is, however, behind Malaysia (50th) and Thailand (62th).

The Philippines ranked 68th out of 128 countries evaluated in terms of progress in addressing basic human needs and well-being as well as creating opportunity for citizens, based on the 2017 Social Progress Index (SPI).

Based on this year’s SPI – which is published by the US-based non-profit Social Progress Imperative with support from Deloitte and in collaboration with Michael Porter of Harvard Business School and Scott Stern of MIT—the Philippines scored 67.1, with 100 being the highest.

Last year, the Philippines was ranked 68 out of 133 countries with an overall score of 65.92. At 68th place, it is deemed within the “upper middle” of the pack.

Comparing with how other Asean countries ranked in the 2017 SPI, the Philippines is ahead of Indonesia (79th), Myanmar (96th), Cambodia (98th) and Laos (99th). It is, however, behind Malaysia (50th) and Thailand (62th).

Denmark is this year’s top performing country, followed by Finland, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland.

While the ranking is unchanged from last year and the score only slightly higher, the newly released 2017 SPI edition found that since 2014, the Philippines has been showing improvements in providing shelter. Improvements were also seen in all three broad measures of basic human needs, foundations of wellness, and opportunity, as well as in 10 of the 12 sub-categories reported in this year’s index.

For the Philippines, shelter— which includes measures of availability of affordable housing and access to electricity—has shown the biggest improvement among the 12 sub-categories reported by the index, coming in with an increase of 2.24 points from 2014 to 2017. This is followed by improvements in the areas of access to advanced education and personal freedom and choice, showing an increase of 2.02 points and 1.67 points respectively over the four-year period.

High scoring areas include access to basic knowledge (92.61) and nutrition and basic medical care (88.65). Access to advanced education (47.56) and the broader measure of opportunity (58.23) are areas where the Philippines is over-performing as compared with countries with the same gross domestic product (GDP) purchasing power parity per capita.

Areas where the country did not perform as well include tolerance and inclusion (55.38) and health and wellness (61.04), both showing a drop of 1.36 points and 0.12 points, respectively.

“There is always room for improvement where social progress is concerned, particularly in today’s rapidly evolving world where issues, including social ones, are fast-moving and fast-changing. To secure a bright economic future for the Philippines, its people, its businesses and its government will need to work hard together to do even better in the areas that have improved over the four years, and focus on improving areas that did not do so well in this year’s index,” Eric Landicho, managing partner & chief executive officer of Navarro Amper & Co, the Philippine member of the global Deloitte network said in a press statement.

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