The Philippine passport ranked 82 out of 116 on the Henley Passport Index 2021 Q3. Earlier this year, the country ranked at 74, taking the country 8 places down. However, the Philippine passport maintained a score of 66, which is the number of countries they can travel to visa-free.
Countries with the Most Powerful Passports
According to the Henley Passport Index updated last July 6, 2021, Japan has the most powerful passport with a visa-free score of 193. Singapore places second with a visa-free score of 192, followed by Germany and South Korea tied for third place with a score of 191. Other countries included in the top 10 are European nations, New Zealand, the United States, Australia, and Canada.
DFA Disregards HPI Ranking
The Department of Foreign Affairs disregards the HPI ranking during a hearing on the proposed Philippine Passport Act. DFA Office Consular Affairs (OCA) executive director Maria Alnee Gamble stated that the ranking is “opinion-based.” Therefore, the public should be unconcerned about placing at 82. She explains that the travel bans enforced during the pandemic affected passport power, which is reflected in the rankings.
Sen. Tolentino Concerned About Low Ranking
Sen. Francis Tolentino, on the other hand, advises the DFA not to take the results lightly. “It is indicative not just of the survey done, but the power of our passport,” the senator countered. “The passport is the badge of citizenship, and you should be proud of that. Now, if our passport is downgraded, it seems the reception of the host country is also somewhat downgraded,” he adds.
The HPI is based on data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA). It ranks the world’s passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access visa-free. Improving the Philippine passport ranking allows more Filipinos to enter certain countries without procuring additional travel documents.