October 15 ------ A global think tank placed the Philippines at 102nd out of 139 countries worldwide in complying with rule of law, adding that the country's score decreased by 2.9% in this year's index. In its 2021 Rule of Law Index, the World Justice Project said the Philippines logged an overall score of 0.46 for rule of law. The WJP's highest score is 1 while 0 is the lowest possible score.
WJP report indicated that the Philippines' current rank was three places lower than its ranking in 2020. Among the East Asia and Pacific Region, the Philippines is at 13th place out of 15 other Asian nations. The WJP Rule of Law Index covers 139 nations and is based on national surveys of more than 138,000 households and 4,200 legal practitioners and experts to measure "how the rule of law is experienced and perceived worldwide."
The WJP evaluated the Philippines as regards several factors. For constraints of government powers, the Philippines had a grade of 0.48 and ranked 85th out of 139 countries. This factor measures the means both constitutional and institutional by which powers of government and its officials and agents are limited and held accountable under the law. The country received a score of 0.44 and ranked 77th out of 139 countries in absence of corruption. Under this factor, WJP looked into bribery, improper influence by public or private interests and misappropriation of public funds.
For open government, the Philippines scored 0.50 and landed at 71st place. This measured the openness of government in "sharing information, empowers people with tools to hold the government accountable, and fosters citizen participation in public policy deliberations." For fundamental rights, the Philippines scored 0.39 and was at 123rd spot. Under this factor, the country scored lowest on right to life and security, with 0.17. Also, the Philippines ranked 110th out of 139 countries in order and security, with a grade of 0.63. Under this factor, the WJP evaluated how well a society ensures the security of persons and property.
Further, the Philippines had a grade of 0.48 and ranked 82nd in regulatory enforcement. This measured "the extent to which regulations are fairly and effectively implemented and enforced." Moreover, the Philippines landed 101st spot in civil justice. This factor measures whether ordinary people can resolve their grievances peacefully and effectively through the civil justice system. Lastly, the Philippines placed 120th in criminal justice. Under this factor, WJP assessed the delivery of criminal justice in the entire system, including the police, lawyers, prosecutors, judges, and prison officers.
Deterioration in rule of law
Overall, the WJP reported that deterioration in rule of law has been spreading worldwide. "Areas of greatest decline globally include constraints on government powers, civic space, timeliness of justice, and absence of discrimination," it said in its report.