By Deighton Acuin

PHOTO: Business World

The Philippine democracy is very alive despite falling one spot lower in global democracy index posted this week, Malacañang said Thursday.

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque made the pronouncement after the Democracy Index 2020 released by London’s Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) showed that the Philippines dropped from 54th spot to the 55th spot out of 167 nations last year.

Roque said the one-spot fall was not a major slip, adding the country was still ahead of its Southeast Asian neighbors.

“It’s one notch lower so hindi po yan major slip, kumbaga,” Roque said in his Thursday presser.

“We are ahead of Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Laos. In other words, ahead of almost all the major countries of Southeast Asia,” Roque added.

Based on the report of the EIU, the Philippines has been suffering a decline since 2017. In 2017, the Philippines was ranked 51st, fell to the 53rd spot in 2018, and to 54th place in 2019.

The country received an average score of 6.56, enough to be included in 52 countries with “flawed democracy” list.

The Philippines got the following scores:

9.17 in electoral process and pluralism

·       5 in functioning government

·       4.38 in political culture

·       6.47 in civil liberties

The EIU said the “flawed democracy” countries have free and fair elections and respect in basic civil liberty, but with the problems on media freedom and minor opposition suppression.

RELATED ARTICLE: Manila Bulletin