For the second time, the Philippines has been recognized as the riskiest country to live in by an international business magazine’s 2021 safety report.
According to Global Finance’s study of the world’s safest countries, the Philippines placed dead last among 134 countries. The last time the country found itself at the bottom of the list was in 2019 when it was first deemed the most dangerous country among 128 countries.
To reach its conclusion, Global Finance’s report considered three criteria: war and peace, personal security, and natural disaster risk which includes the unique risk factors stemming from COVID-19. Data for each factor was based on 2020 reports that were done in 2021 by non-government organizations, the World Economic Forum, and the Global Institute for Peace. For data pertaining to each country’s pandemic response, the report relied on the government’s self-reporting.
This means that the final computation of each country’s index comprised of “one-half fundamental factors, one-third COVID-19 deaths per capita, and one-sixth COVID vaccination per capita,” with deaths per capita serving as a direct measure of how well or poorly each country responded to the global pandemic. Therefore, the higher a given country’s index is, the lower they place in the list.
The Philippines tallied a score of 14.8899, just a few decimal points shy of Colombia’s 14.8461 which put it at the 133rd spot. Other nations that also ranked poorly in the study include Guatemala (14.5842), Nigeria (14.2778), Mexico (14.0531), and Peru (13.7978).
Brazil, which has also been criticized for its poor pandemic response and whose chief executive now faces a flurry of corruption accusations, likewise recorded a risky score of 14.1011.
“Countries with serious civil conflict that have high risks from a 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 publication said,” Global Finance wrote in its report.
Meanwhile, Iceland aced the study as the safest country in the world with a score of 3.9724. Joining it at the better end of the list are the United Arab Emirates (4.2043), Singapore (4.6184), Mongolia (5.6092), Denmark (6.2422), and Canada (6.3129).
New Zealand, lauded for its prompt and well-executed pandemic response, placed tenth on the list with a score of 6.4352.
Global Finance, however, issued the disclaimer that “it did not include countries that were missing data in any of the categories.” These include countries like Bhutan, Belarus, and Sudan that did not register scores from the safety and tourism report, as well as other countries like Kosovo and Somalia that are missing data from the World Risk Report.
The report also took note of how the COVID-19 pandemic overturned the dynamics that influenced the rankings of developed and developing countries. Countries like the United States, Portugal, Italy, Spain, Belgium, and the United Kingdom that used to rank as one of the safest countries, slid down the list after suffering high COVID-19 deaths per capita.
The same could also be said for developing countries that previously populated the bottom of the rankings. Nations like Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Uganda all fared significantly better in this year’s study due to effectively managing the COVID-19 outbreak in their country. However, heightened political unrest and military conflict hinder them from further hiking up the list.
The latest bulletin from the Department of Health showed the Philippines recording 1,450,110 total coronavirus cases and 25,4359 COVID-related deaths.