March 18, 2011
Freedom Barometer 2010 Reveals Tough
Legacy for the Aquino Administration
Freedom Barometer Asia 2010
the Philippines takes 8th
(out of 16), just behind Malaysia but before Thailand.
The Philippines score (out of 100 points) is 52.59. This compares
to 78.89 for the freeest country (Japan). The Freedom Barometer
Asia 2010 was published this month by the FNF
Regional Office for South and South-East Asia
Dr Rainer Adam, Regional Director for the FNF in East and South-East
Asia: “The Barometer‘s indicators comprise political
freedom, rule of law, and economic
freedom, which we believe are the essential prerequisites
for liberty. We hope that the Freedom Barometer Asia 2010 will
demonstrate the comprehensive levels of freedom in the various
Asian countries and become an incentive for further consultations,
discussions and research.”
The Freedom Barometer Asia is an attempt to measure freedom in
all its complexity in selected Asian countries. In contrast to
most others indices, it is not limited to one aspect of freedom,
be it political or economic. The Barometer combines the most significant
elements of economic and civil/political freedom with a specific
liberal perspective. The existence of the death penalty, for instance,
counts as a negative element of a society’s existing political
and legal order. Therefore the barometer “discriminates”
against countries who practise capital punishment.
In 2009 the Philippines also occupied the 8th position, albeit
with a slightly higher score (56.34). According to the 2010 Barometer
the position of the Philippines is stable because “…the
Philippines have a tradition of freedom and civil liberties”
and “…press freedom and freedom of expression are
generally a given and government censorship is not a major problem”.
However, a problem was particularly “…the killing
of 29 journalists” in the Maguindanao massacre,
but also other aspects such as “…high tariffs; import
and export restrictions; access barriers to the Philippine service
market; opaque customs valuations; rampant corruption;
and a weak intellectual property rights regime”.
Philippines FNF Country Director Jules Maaten: “These figures
reflect in particular the dying days of the Arroyo Administration.
They demonstrate the tough legacy for the Aquino Administration.
I am curious to see the Philippines’ score in next year’s
The full report and the press release of FNF South and South-East
Asia can be found on: http://www.fnfasia.org/