THE Philippines landed in 15th place and scored big in three facets—Super Cities, Business and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) in the 2023 Tholons Global Business Innovation Sustainability Index (TBIS).

The country needs improvement though in areas of Life and Innovation/Digital, and it fared poorly in Sustainability.

The Philippines scored 9.45 out of 10 in terms of Super Cities. Super Cities refer to the number of cities and population from a given country ranked in TBIS Super Cities extensive list.

It scored 8.26 for Business, which looked into graduates and talents, policies and incentives, ease of doing business, regulatory and compliance, digital literacy and globalization workforce.

It scored 7.71 for Life, which measured the cost of living, real estate and bandwidth, mobility, healthcare system, education system, and risk and corruption, while it scored 8.15 for DEI which looks into women’s equality, pay gap, women entrepreneurship, women workforce, political empowerment and funding.

The country scored 5.65 for Innovation/Digital, which covers global innovation, startup diversity and maturity, unicorns, digital and artificial intelligence, digital investment, open innovation ecosystem, digital competitiveness, and startup ecosystem and scored poorly for Sustainability with a score of 3.58.

Sustainability looks into the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy, energy use, climate policy and sustainable competitiveness.

“The current TBIS–2023 has a much higher emphasis on digital innovation, sustainability, diversity, equity and inclusion, supplementing talent, business catalyst, globalization workforce, cost, health, education and risks,” Tholons said.

The TBIS 2023 Report evaluates countries across Business (20 percent), Life (20 percent), Innovation/Digital (15 percent), DEI (10 percent), Sustainability (10 percent) and Super Cities (25 percent).

“We have seen a drastic change in how digital transformation is being embraced by clients. The global pandemic and climate change have had one of the biggest impacts on the relevance of how countries embrace Business, Life, Innovation/Digital, DEI and Sustainability for creating a balanced ecosystem at large,” Tholons added.

The global innovation and advisory firm said the TBIS 2023 Index evaluated over 200 countries and named Top 50 Digital Nations that are “pivoting to the new equitable reality.”


This year’s index categorized the Philippines in the “Big Kahuna” nations described as “new leaders having built a vibrant foundation. The country is joined by Sweden (11th in the ranking), France (12th), Finland (13th), Poland (14th), South Korea (16th), Spain (17th), Brazil (18th), the Netherlands (19th) and Chile (20th).

Those that belonged to the top 10 were categorized as “Avante Garde” nations “pioneering and accelerating their leadership. Topping the list is the United States followed by India (2nd), Canada (3rd), the United Kingdom (4th), Germany (5th), Ireland (6th), New Zealand (7th), Australia (8th), Singapore (9th) and Denmark (10th).

Nations that were ranked 21th to 30th were described as “Hanger On” nations, aspiring to leverage innovation and balance DEI and sustainability as they define their growth paths while those ranked 31st to 40th were named “At Sea” nations because they are “the crossroad of battling sea storm of internal challenges as they plow and steer clear to capture the enormous opportunity that lies ahead.” Those ranked 41st to 50th were tagged “Halycon” nations that “need to break out and discover their path to meaningful relevance.”

Super Cities

Moreover, Cebu City is still on the list of TBIS Super Cities.

The report though did not include the ranking per city and was instead presented in an alphabetical manner. Other Philippine cities on the list include Bacolod, Bacoor (Cavite), Baguio, Davao, Iloilo, Manila and Santa Rosa, Laguna.

In 2021, Cebu City nosedived to the 52nd rank from ranking 15th in the Top 100 Super Cities by Tholons in 2020.

Tholons introduced innovation, startup ecosystem and digital transformation as key components to define its index for Top 50 Digital Nations and Top 100 Super Cities in 2017.