The Philippines remains classified as a “flawed democracy” despite a slight improve in its ranking in the Democracy Index 2022 released by London-based think tank The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
The country improved from 54th in 2021 to 52nd out of 167 countries and territories included in the annual index released last week. For reference, our rank was 55th in 2020, 54th in 2019, 53rd in 2028 and 51st in 2017.
EIU’s Democracy Index measures the state of global democracy based on the ratings for 60 indicators grouped in the five categories: electoral process and pluralism, functioning of government, political participation, political culture, and civil liberties. It then classifies countries into four regime types: full democracy, flawed democracy, hybrid regimes and authoritarian regimes.
The latest report categorized the Philippines as a “flawed democracy”, defined as countries that have free and fair elections and where basic civil liberties are respected, although there are significant weaknesses in some aspects of democracy, including governance, political culture and participation.
According to the EIU, the Philippines scored at total of 6.73 out of the highest possible score of 10 in 2022, slightly up from the previous year’s 6.62.
Among the indicators used, the country cored highest in electoral process and pluralism – 9.7, followed by political participation – 7.78, civil liberties – 7.35, functioning of government – 5.0, and political culture – 4.38.
The latest index found the number of “full democracies” increased from 21 to 24, while “flawed democracies” fell from 53 to 48. The Philippines unfortunately stayed put among the latter, and based on its scores, will need to work on better functioning of government and political culture.
The good news is that the state of our flawed democracy enjoyed a slight improvement. As long as we continuously improve, our country might just be perceived by think tanks like the EIU as a full democracy in due time. As long as we choose the right set of leaders who share the same goal, the next generation of Filipinos might be able to reap the rewards of those slight improvements and enjoy living in a such a country.*