15 September 2009

Makati Mayor and United Opposition (UNO) president Jejomar C. Binay said the sharp decline in the country’s global competitiveness rating shows growing worldwide concern over the persistence of high-level corruption and mismanagement of government under the Arroyo administration.

It exposes the emptiness of Malacanang’s claim that investor confidence has improved under the Arroyo administration, he added.

“On the contrary, investor confidence has been waning because of the reports of corruption involving high government officials, including Mrs. Arroyo and her political allies. Investors also take into account the mismanagement of government resources that has resulted in inefficiencies,” he said.

The opposition leader said local businessmen have also expressed dissatisfaction at the way the administration is managing the economy, citing statements made by former Central Bank Gov. Jose L. Cuisia Jr., presently a trustee of the Makati Business Club.

Cuisia had said that many in the business sector feel the Arroyo administration has failed to deliver satisfactory performance based on these criteria: competitiveness, employment, export growth, foreign direct investments, and fiscal stability.

Binay said the former CB governor correctly stated that corruption is the most problematic factor cited for doing business in the Philippines .

“These sentiments, as well as the results of the global competitiveness survey, expose the emptiness of Malacanang’s claim that investors continue to look favorably on the Philippines because of Mrs. Arroyo’s leadership,” he said.

A report by the World Economic Forum said the Philippines fell from 71st to 87th in this year’s Global Competitiveness Report.

The report cited corruption, inefficient government bureaucracy, and inadequate infrastructure as among the reasons for the decline and why investors find it problematic to continue investing in the Philippines .

The sharp drop in the rating is considered the biggest drop recorded by a country in the survey of 133 countries.

The Global Competitiveness Report factors in 12 pillars of competitiveness, among them institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic stability, health and primary education, higher education and training, goods market efficiency, labor market efficiency, financial market sophistication, and technological readiness.


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