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134TH OUT OF 134

Philippines takes last place in safest country rankings

The Philippines has landed in the bottom of a list of the safest countries in the world.

International monthly magazine Global Finance's safest countries in world rankings take into account three factors: war and peace; personal security; and natural disaster risk, "including the unique risk factors stemming from COVID-19," it said in a summary of the report.

"Each of these factors was based on 2020 reports that were done in 2021. In order to make sure the data is relevant to current experiences, the COVID-19 scores were derived from data as of May 30, 2021," the magazine said, adding that it also used data from the World Economic Forum and the Global Institute For Peace.

The Philippines received a score of 14.8999, placing it in 134th place, below the countries of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Nigeria, Guatemala, and Colombia.

COVID-19 reshuffled the rankings of world's safest countries but it did not improve the rankings of worst-performing countries such as the Philippines, Global Finance said.

"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," Global Finance pointed out.

When it comes to natural disasters, the Philippines is the fourth hardest-hit country in the last 20 years, according to the United Nations. 

Meanwhile, in terms of COVID-19 resilience—or how a country fares in containing the COVID-19 pandemic with the least amount of disruption to society and the economy—the Philippines is in second to the last place among the 53 biggest economies, with only Argentina scoring lower.

Meanwhile, Iceland topped the list of safest countries with a score of 3.9724, followed by United Arab Emirates with 4.2043, and Qatar with 4.5609.

Global Finance, however, revealed that countries with missing data in their categories were not included in the list. These countries include Bhutan, Belarus, Sudan, Kosovo and Somalia.

There was also possibly underreporting and lack of credibility in figures in its rankings, the magazine said, citing China, Tanzania and Venezuela as possibly not producing credible figures in its report.

It further explained that developing countries may have been undercounting their COVID-19 deaths, such as India.

"These rankings and scores should be taken with a grain of salt compared to previous editions. 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," Global Finance said. — BM, GMA News