By Corina Oliquino | FilAm Star Correspondent
MANILA – In the latest edition of the Safe Cities Index, Manila was ranked among one of the world’s least safe cities. It’s also the first time Manila appeared in the index.
Out of 60 major cities, Manila ranked number 55 and one among three countries with the least safe cities in the world. Manila scored 54.86 out of a possible 100, which is derived from ratings on four categories: Digital, Health, Infrastructure and Personal Securities.
In a report by Rappler, Manila scored lowest in terms of Digital Security (the Philippine capital ranked 59 and scored 36.61), and Infrastructure Security (the Philippine capital ranked 56 and scored 52.89).
According to the Index, Digital Security includes safety from digital threats, such as cyber-crimes and hacking into vital infrastructure such as power grids and transport systems.
“The report said that in the case of Manila and three other low-income cities at the bottom of the digital security list, the city lacks technological know-how and ‘competing challenges such as tackling infectious diseases and poverty can push cyber security lower on the list of priorities,’” the Rappler report said.
Infrastructure Security, however, includes safety of buildings, roads, bridges, and other physical infrastructure, from both disasters and terrorist attacks – the report also cited Manila’s vulnerability to natural disasters.
In terms of Health Security, Manila ranked 49. The category includes public health and environment), and 39 in personal security (which includes safety from crime and other man-made threats.
“The results of the 2017 Safe Cities Index, which now covers 60 cities, again show a sharp divide in over-all levels of safety between the fast urbanizing developing world and the stagnant developed world,” the Index noted.
The Safe Cities Index 2017 noted that in many aspects, it’s the very success of cities, in their role as global social and economic hubs that makes them more vulnerable.
“The 2017 Safe Cities Index retains the four categories of security from the 2015 version— digital, health, infrastructure and physical. However, we have added six new indicators and expanded the index to cover 60 cities, up from 50 in 2015,” the index noted.
For this year, the key findings include the following:
– With reference to 2015, Tokyo tops the over-all ranking. “The Japanese capital’s strongest performance is in the digital security category while it has risen seven points in the health security category since 2015. However, in infrastructure security, it has fallen out of the top ten, to 12th.”
– “In many cities, security is falling rather than rising: With two exceptions (Madrid, which is up 13 points and Seoul, up six), cities tend to have fallen in the index since 2015 (for example, New York is down 11, Lima is down 13, Johannesburg is down nine, Ho Chi Minh City is down 10 and Jakarta is down 13)”
– “Asia and the Middle East and Africa dominate the bottom of the index: Dhaka, Yangon and Karachi are at the bottom of the list. Of the 10 cities at the bottom of the over-all index, three are in South-east Asia (Manila, Ho Chi Minh City and Jakarta), two are in South Asia (Dhaka and Karachi) and two are in the Middle East and Africa (Cairo and Tehran).”
– “Security remains closely linked to wealth but the scores of high-income cities are falling: While cities in developed economies dominate the top half of the index (with the lower half dominated by cities in poorer countries), of the 14 cities in high-income countries, the security scores of 10 have fallen since 2015.”
Manila’s low ranking may refer to entire NCR
In a report by GMA News, Manila Police Department Director Chief Superintendent Joel Coronel, in a news release, refuted Manila’s bottom placing among the world’s least safest cities, saying that the survey seems to have based the ranking on the whole of Metro Manila.
“The study was measured based on identified mega-cities in different parts of the world, so it would appear that it is not only confined to the local government of Manila alone,” Coronel said.
“So, this will include other cities in Metro Manila as well,” Coronel added.
“Coronel admitted that the Philippines, as a whole, is poor when it comes to digital security and infrastructure security, two of the four bases of the study. The other two are health and personal safety,” the GMA News report read.
“For the Philippines, that’s why nakakuha tayo ng mababang score is mababa tayo sa digital security,” Coronel said.
“Mahina ang ating security measures against cyber threats and on-line attacks,” Coronel added.