Government disputes safest country rankings

Romina Cabrera - The Philippine Star
Government disputes safest country rankings
The report ranked the Philippines last on the list of 134 countries, with the lowest score of 14.8899 based on risks such as war and peace, personal security and natural disasters.
KJ Rosales / File

MANILA, Philippines — Interior Secretary Eduardo Año has downplayed the latest report that ranked the Philippines as the least safe among 134 countries.

Año said the report by Global Finance Magazine should be taken objectively as it does not reflect the country’s actual situation on the ground.

“Kailangan very objective tayo. Mahirap pagbasehan lang natin itong survey ng ibang countries. Minsan may political factors behind,” he said in an interview on dzBB.

The report ranked the Philippines last on the list of 134 countries, with the lowest score of 14.8899 based on risks such as war and peace, personal security and natural disasters.

Año said crime volume in the country decreased by half since President Duterte assumed office in 2016.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) had earlier reported that there was a decrease of 39.59 percent in the eight focus crimes in 2020 compared to the previous year.

It also cited that a recent Gallup survey showed that the Philippines is actually among the top 50 safest countries in the world.

PNP chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said the safety index is a challenge to do better in “improving peace and order in the country.”

“Peace and order are only some of the factors, because they include rural disasters and the effect of COVID-19 in our country,” Eleazar said in a press conference.

“Nevertheless, we will take this latest ranking as a challenge to do more in terms of further improving the peace and order security in the country,” he said.

The Philippines also ranked last out of the 128 countries included in a similar list released by the magazine in 2019.

According to Marc Getzoff, author of the report released on Tuesday, the latest list took into account COVID deaths and vaccinations per capita in determining the safety index score.

“Deaths per capita is a direct measure of how well or poorly a given country responded to the spread of COVID-19, which in turn is based on the country’s healthcare infrastructure, government capabilities, political leadership and culture in face of a major, unexpected crisis,” he wrote.

“Vaccinations per capita on the other hand reflects a country’s financial power and future performance via preventative measures stemming further outbreaks,” he added.

But while worst-performing countries such as the Philippines reported relatively low death tolls due to the pandemic, Getzoff said they still performed poorly in the rankings due to serious civil conflict. – Janvic Mateo, Neil Jayson Servallos

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