International publication Global Finance ranked the Philippines at the very bottom in its list of the safest countries in the world. The country also landed at last place in the publication’s same list for 2019.
Meanwhile, the Philippine passport dropped from 74 last year to 82 this year, according to the Henley Passport Index (HPI). The current ranking is the lowest for the Philippine’s principal global travel document since 2006.
Global Finance’s World’s Safest Countries 2021 was released last week. The list covered 134 countries which were judged on such factors as war and peace, personal security, and natural disaster risk, including unique risk factors stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.
In the publication’s Safety Index, the higher a country’s score, the lower its rank. The Philippines had a score of 14.8899, which resulted in its landing at the bottom.
The Philippines was described as having serious civil conflict that have high risks from natural disasters. Global Financestated that the country reported a relatively low death toll due to the pandemic but performed poorly “in terms of safety overall.”
According to the publication, “Countries with serious civil conflict that have high risks from a natural disaster such as the Philippines, Nigeria, Yemen, and El Salvador all reported relatively low death tolls from COVID-19 yet performed poorly in terms of safety overall.”
Joining the Philippines in the list of the 10 most unsafe countries were Brazil, Bosnia, Colombia, Guatemala, Herzegovina, Nigeria, Mexico, Peru and Yemen.
Within the region, other Southeast Asian countries fared substantially better than the Philippines, led by Singapore at number 4, Malaysia at 27, Vietnam at 49, Indonesia at 60, and Thailand at 70.
On the opposite end of the safety list are Iceland at the very top, followed by the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Singapore, Finland, Mongolia, Norway, Denmark, Canada, and New Zealand.
In its report, Global Finance said, “In essence, a country’s overall score is made up of one-half fundamental factors, one-third COVID-19 deaths per capita, and one-sixth COVID vaccination per capita.”
Global Finance is part of Italian finance and lifestyle media company Class Editori Group.
As for the strength of passports, Henley & Partners said each passport is scored based on the total number of destinations a holder of the document can access visa-free.
Henley & Partners is a global citizenship and residence advisory firm that oversees the global rankings of countries based on the travel freedom of its passport holders. This year, the firm assessed the strength of the passport of 199 nations.
Thus far, Philippine passport holders have only 66 visa-free destinations, based on the 2021 HPI. The Philippine passport’s rank was highest at the 62nd spot for the three years covering 2007 to 2009.
Rankings are based on data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) as culled by the research department of Henley & Partners.
Henley & Partners stated that for each travel destination where the passport would not need a visa, a score of one is given. However, for each travel destination where the passport would be required a visa where the passport holder must apply for a government-approved electronic visa before departure, a score of zero is given.
The London-based company said the HPI was developed “to give users a nuanced, practical, and reliable overview of their passport’s power.”
In another development, the Philippines recently placed eighth among 10 Southeast Asian countries in terms of vaccinating its entire population, according to global think tank Our World in Data. As of last week, the country had only vaccinated 4.23 percent of its population.