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MANILA, Philippines -- Malacanang on Wednesday welcomed the Philippines’ improvement in the press freedom ranking of the advocacy group Freedom House, calling it a “recognition” of government efforts to improve the situation in a country that has been ranked third deadliest for journalists in the world.
From last year’s 93rd spot, the country landed in 88th place from last year’s 93rd.
This tied it with Burkina Faso.
However, the Philippines remained classified as “partly free.”
"Among our neighbors in Southeast Asia, the Philippines ranked highest in press freedom with a rating of 42, representing a four-point increase from last year’s rating of 46," Communications Development Secretary Ramon Carandang also noted.
Freedom House cited the following reasons for the Philippines’ gains: reduction in violence against journalists, attempts by government to address impunity, and expanded diversity of media ownership.
"With a country rating of 42, we acknowledge that more needs to be done to further improve the country’s rating which is still considered ‘partly free’,” Carandang said.
"However, the improved rankings of the Philippines represents a recognition of the Philippine government’s initiatives to strengthen press freedom," he added.
Freedom House noted that the Philippines was one of “several key countries” where positive changes in press freedom were seen.
The ratings are based on assessments of the legal, political, and economic environments for media in each country, with a scale representing 0 as “most free” to 100 as “least free.”