Manila Slides to Bottom Rung of World's Safe Cities Ranking: The Economist

51st out of 60 cities.
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Manila is on the bottom rung of a biennial global index that ranks cities in terms of safety indicators, scoring below average in all factors.

The Philippine capital slipped eight notches in the Safe Cities Index 2021 of The Economist Intelligence Unit, ranking 51st out of 60 cities, lower than its 43rd ranking in 2019.

Manila scored 52.5 out of a perfect 100, below the average of 66.1. Cities were assessed based on five factors: digital, health, infrastructure, personal, and environmental security.

The top five safest cities according to the index were Copenhagen, Toronto, Singapore, Sydney, and Tokyo. All five cities scored at least 80 out of 100.


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In terms of digital security, Manila got a score of 47.4, below the average of 61.1, and scored 49.9 for its health security as countries battled the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Many health systems, including well-resourced ones with advanced infrastructure and equipment, have been nearly overwhelmed," the report said.

For infrastructure, Manila got a rating of 52.9, also below the average 71.5, and 65.9 for environmental security which is also a few points lower than the average 68.5 score.

Manila saw the biggest decline in the personal security factor, scoring 46.6 and at a tie with Bangkok in Thailand. In 2019, the Philippine metropolis got a score of 74.7.

According to Juma Assiago, coordinator of the UN-Habitat Safe Cities Program, safety is an "issue of urban governance."

"The best way for a city to reach a high level of personal security is through its co-creation by the public and the authorities," he said in the report.

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"A better-governed city allows the participation of non-state actors," he said.

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