Philippines improves ranking in global passport index

Janvic Mateo - The Philippine Star
Philippines improves ranking in global passport index
File photo shows a man holding a Philippine passport.
The STAR / Edd Gumban, File

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines slightly improved in the annual passport index released by London-based consultancy firm Henley & Partners.

With access to 69 visa-free destinations, the Philippine passport is now ranked 73rd in the Henley Passport Index, along with Cape Verde Island and Uganda.

It slightly improved from 75th last year, when Philippine passport holders had visa-free access to 66 destinations.

The Philippine passport ranked 80th in 2022 and 83rd in 2021, its lowest ranking since 2006. The country’s best performance was from 2007 to 2009, when it ranked 62nd.

The Henley Passport Index ranks passports based on “the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa.” It uses data from the International Air Transport Authority and covers 199 passports and 227 travel destinations.

“For each travel destination, if no visa is required for passport holders from a country or territory, then a score with value = 1 is created for that passport. A score with value = 1 is also applied if passport holders can obtain a visa on arrival, a visitor’s permit, or an electronic travel authority when entering the destination,” read the ranking’s methodology.

“These visa-types require no pre-departure government approval, because of the specific visa-waiver programs in place,” it read.

“Where a visa is required, or where a passport holder has to obtain a government-approved electronic visa (e-Visa) before departure, a score with value = 0 is assigned,” it added. “A score with value = 0 is also assigned if passport holders need pre-departure government approval for a visa on arrival, a scenario we do not consider ‘visa-free.’”

Six countries topped the list this year, all with visa-free access to 194 destinations. These are France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Singapore and Spain.

Following them were Finland, South Korea and Sweden, all with visa-free access to 193 destinations; Denmark, Ireland and Netherlands on third spot (192 destinations); Belgium, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal and United Kingdom on fourth sport (191 destinations); and Greece, Malta and Switzerland on fifth spot (190 destinations).

On the bottom of the list were Afghanistan at 104th (28 destinations), Syria at 103rd (29 destinations), Iraq at 102nd (31 destinations), Pakistan at 101st (34 destinations), and Yemen at 100th (35 destinations).

Among Southeast Asian nations, the Philippines ranked seventh, after Singapore (1st), Malaysia (12th, 182 destinations), Brunei (20th, 168 destinations), Timor Leste (58th, 94 destinations), Thailand (63rd, 82 destinations) and Indonesia (66th, 77 destinations),

Following the Philippines were Cambodia at 86th (56 destinations), Vietnam at 87th (55 destinations), Laoas at 90th (51 destinations) and Myanmar at 92nd (48 destinations).

Last year, Singapore topped the index with visa-free access to 193 destinations followed by Japan with 192. Tied on third spot were Finland, France, Germany, Italy, South Korea, Spain and Sweden, which all had access to 191 destinations.

The Henley Passport Index is different from the passport power scores that it regularly releases, which ranks countries “according to the percentage share of global GDP (gross domestic product) to which their passport holders have visa-free access, by taking into account their visa-free/visa-on-arrival scores out of a possible 227.” The Philippines currently ranks 113th in Henley’s passport power rankings.

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