Friday, July 9, 2021

Of COVID Resiliency, Stressfulness, Passport Power, and Safety

Friday, July 9, 2021

Just recently four reports were published about the standing of the Philippines compared to other countries in the world. As was foreseeable, the reports revealed the dismal ranking of the country in terms of COVID-19 resiliency, stressfulness, passport power, and safety.

In Bloomberg's 2021 study of COVID Resiliency, which measures how well countries' business and society weathered the coronavirus outbreak, the Philippines ranked 52 out of 53 countries. The metrics used are vaccination rate, lockdown severity, flight capacity, and vaccinated travel routes. The Philippines' low ranking brought about by its slow vaccination and global isolation means that it is, indeed, one of the worst places to be during the pandemic and once the world reopens.

Germany's VAAY analyzed indicators such as governance (safety and security, socio-political stability, etc), health (access to health care), city quality (traffic, density, pollution), finance (unemployment, social security, financial stress) to come up with its Least and Most Stressful Cities in the World Index. Metro Manila, which ranked 98 out of the 100 cities studied, is the third most stressful metropolitan area in the world. 

In Global Finance's 2021 Safest Countries in the World Rankings, the Philippines placed 134 out of 134 countries, which makes it the most dangerous country in the world. The safety score for each country is based on factors such as war and peace, personal security, and natural disaster risk including risk factors associated with COVID-19.

The 2021 Henley Passport Index is a ranking of all the world’s passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa. The Philippines ranked 82 out of 116 countries. Philippine passport holders can travel without a visa to only 66 countries. Compare that to its neighbor Singapore (ranked 2nd) whose citizens can go 192 visa-free destinations or Thailand (ranked 71st) whose people can enter 79 countries without having to apply for a visa.

But we don't really need studies like these to confirm what we Filipinos already know, do we? We experience them every day. These data simply substantiate how miserable, how difficult life is here in the Philippines for many Filipinos. 

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