Philippines rise in int’l rule of law index prods gov’t to do better

March 02, 2019
Salvador Panelo

MALACAÑANG yesterday said it is pleased that the ranking of the Philippines improved in an international rule of law index, but vowed to persevere.

“The Duterte administration has been tirelessly working on these since Day One and we are pleased of the Philippines’ improved global rank in 2019 (from 88 out of 113 countries in 2017-2018 to 90 out of 126 countries in 2018-2019) as a result of our initiatives.  We will not rest and continue exerting efforts on this aspect,” Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.

The Philippines ranked 90th out of 126 countries included in the 2019 Rule of Law Index, according to the World Justice Project (WJP) on Thursday.

Although it moved three notches up in the overall rankings this year, the Philippines remains among the bottom three countries, along with Myanmar and Cambodia, in the East Asia and Pacific region when it comes to adherence to the rule of law.

The rankings were made based on eight factors: constraints on government powers; absence of corruption; open government; fundamental rights; order and security; regulatory enforcement; civil justice; and criminal justice.

“The World Justice Project defines effective rule of law as reducing corruption, combating poverty and disease and protecting people from injustice large and small – which are all embodied in the Duterte administration’s Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 with the following strategic outcomes: enhancing the social fabric; inequality-reducing transformation and increasing growth potential,” Panelo said.

The Palace official, however, said the Executive Branch cannot do the work alone and needs the support of the other branches of government.

“The Executive Branch, however, cannot do it alone,” he said.

“The four universal principles of the World Justice Project rule of law framework, which include accountability, just laws, open government, and accessible and impartial dispute resolution require the support of all branches of the government,” Panelo said.

“We need the support of Congress for the enactment of laws under just laws and open government, as well as the cooperation of the Judicial Branch for the timely delivery of justice under accessible and impartial dispute resolution,” he added.