MANILA -- Malacañang on Thursday said the government is already addressing the issues which the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) used to rank the Philippines as 50th among 63 countries in terms of global competitiveness.

“We take note of the results of the IMD World Competitiveness Rankings 2018 citing that the Philippines ranked 50th out of 63 economies,” Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press statement.

According to 2018 IMD World Competitiveness Rankings, the Philippines plunged from 41st in the 2017 survey to 50th spot.

IMD assessed the country’s competitiveness in terms of its economic performance, government and business efficiency, and infrastructure.

“Particularly, it reported that the Philippines faces key challenges in the following areas: investing in quality infrastructure; increasing investment in human capital (health and education); strengthening institutions; increasing digital competitiveness; and mitigating political risks,” Roque said.

Roque said the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte is already addressing the issues cited by the IMD.

He said the government has started to roll out 75 big-ticket Build-Build-Build infrastructure projects designed to modernize the country’s infrastructure backbone.

With a total of USD35.5 billion or PHP1.75 trillion investment, the 75 flagship projects include the construction of six airports, nine railways, three bus rapid transits, 32 roads and bridges, and four seaports.

According to the Department of Finance, the Duterte administration intends to spend about USD158 billion or PHP7.9 trillion in the next five years on infrastructure projects.

Roque said the Philippines has also made up its education up to par with the global standards by continuing the K-12 Program and provided free medicine to the poor.

“Also, the government ordered the selection of a third telecommunications player to push for better internet services and lower prices for Filipino consumers,” he said.

“Lastly, the President has prioritized the shift to federalism to spur regional development and lessen political risk given that local governments will now have power over their own resources and create policies that will cater to their constituents’ needs,” he added. (PNA)