Manila cops object to city tag ‘unsafe’
THE Manila Police District said Sunday that a British study ranking Manila as among the least safe cities in the world was inaccurate.
Speaking on behalf of Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, MPD director Chief Supt. Joel Coronel said the results of the Safest Cities Index 2017 do not necessarily represent the City of Manila alone.
“The study was measured based on identified megacities in different parts of the world so it would appear that it is not only confined to the local government of Manila alone,” Coronel said. “So this will include other cities in Metro Manila as well.”
In the Safest Cities Index 2017 released by Economist Intelligence Unit, the research arm of the London-based multimedia company The Economist Group, Manila was ranked 55th out of the 60 cities examined in the biennial report.
Joining Manila at the bottom 10 are Cairo, Tehran, Quiro, Caracas, Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta, Dhaka, Yangon and Karachi.
Tokyo was named the world’s safest city for the second consecutive time.
Coronel admitted that the Philippines, as a whole, is poor when it comes to digital security and infrastructure security, two of the four parameters of the study. The other two are health security and personal security.
“For the Philippines, the reason we got a low score is that we are low on digital security,” Coronel said. “We are weak in security measures against cyber threats and online attacks,” he said.
The rating, he said, “was made on the basis of not only the city of Manila alone but also of other cities composing the megacities of Metro Manila.”
A megacity is a metropolitan area with a total population in excess of 10 million people. With a 2016 population of 24.12 million, Metro Manila, composed of the 16 cities and one municipality of the National Capital Region, is the fifth biggest megacity in the world by population.
For the purposes of the report, digital security is defined as the strength of a city’s cyber security and internet access, while health security measures air and water quality, along with health care.
Personal security considers crime, violence and police engagement, while infrastructure security looks at transportation, and vulnerability to natural and terrorist strikes.
Early this month, Estrada reported that crime rate in Manila has dropped by 38 percent this year, with MPD registering a marked improvement in its ability to solve crimes.
Citing a report submitted by Coronel, Estrada said index crimes in the past 12 months decreased by 38.7 percent for a high of 5,474 cases in 2016 to only 3,393 in the current year.
Moreover, Estrada reported that the MPD’s crime solution efficiency during the same period improved from 54.8 percent in 2016 to 67.5 percent this year wherein six to seven out of 10 crimes have been solved by the city police force with the arrests of suspects and the filing of cases against them.