The Philippines is Last in World Ranking of Safest Countries

Behind Colombia, Guatemala, and Nigeria.
Photo/s: Jerome Ascaño

The Philippines ranked last out of 134 countries in terms of over-all safety, according to Global Finance Magazine.

The study considered three factors to determine how safe countries are: war and peace, personal security, and natural disaster risk including the unique risk factors stemming from COVID-19.

The Philippines was behind Colombia, Guatemala, and Nigeria in terms of rankings. Iceland ranked first followed by the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Singapore.

"Countries with serious civil conflict that have high risks from 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," the report read.

The study used 2020 reports with the exception of COVID-19 data that were retrieved on May 30, 2021, Global Finance said. Deaths per capita was used to measure a country's response to the pandemic, it added.

Deaths per capita gauges how well or poorly a country responds to the pandemic, based on the country's healthcare infrastructure, government capabilities, political leadership, and culture in face of a major, unexpected crisis, Global Finance said.

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In pandemic year 2020, the Philippines struggled not only with COVID-19 but with a series of storms, and a volcano eruption on top of the usual political challenges. The Philippines' COVID-19 response has also been criticized for having retired generals instead of public health experts at the helm.

Early this year, the Philippines grappled with a fresh surge in infections which the government attributed to new virus variants and vaccine complacency. 

The country is eyeing to inoculate at least 70 million of its people this year to achieve its target of "population protection" by November.

While the rankings were based on three fundamentals, Global Finance urged readers to take the list "with a grain of salt" since data on COVID-19 were largely based on self-reporting of countries.

"While the fundamental factors rely on concise reports produced by NGOs and international organizations, the COVID-19 death tolls and the vaccination rates are largely based on self-reporting by governments," it said.

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You can view the full ranking here.

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