The actual data on the crime situation in the country disputes the ranking of the Philippines at the bottom of the list of the safest countries by an international magazine, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Friday.
In a statement, PNP chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said they had been consistent in releasing crime data statistics which have seen a decline in the past years.
“Our crime statistics do not jive with this ranking. Our partners in the media can prove this because we always release data on the crime situation in the country where we see a big decline. If we compare the number of index crimes in the first five years of this administration to the last or even the first five years of the previous administration, it declined by 63 percent nationwide,” he said.
Eleazar, however, recognized that based on the report, peace and order was only one of the factors in the ranking of countries.
“Other factors include natural disasters and the actual effects of COVID-19 on the country. Nevertheless, we will take this as a challenge to do more in terms of further improving the peace and order and security in our country,” he added.
Since the start of the strict implementation of community quarantine in March last year due to the pandemic, the Joint Task Force COVID Shield, then headed by Eleazar, had been releasing crime statistics to show a significant decline in eight focus crimes— murder, homicide, rape, physical injury, robbery, theft, car theft, and motorcycle theft.
Crime volume declined by more than 50 percent, with theft and robbery posting the most significant decline at over 60 percent.
In its latest report, the international monthly magazine Global Finance said the Philippines ranked at the bottom of the list of safest countries.
The Philippines got a score of 14.8899 in the Global Finance Safety Index, putting it at the bottom of 134 countries included in the ranking. Iceland was listed as the safest country with a score of 3.9724.
“Countries with serious civil conflict that have high risks from natural disasters 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 said in its report.
Three factors, including war and peace, personal security, and natural disaster risk such as the risk factors from the COVID-19, were considered in making the list.
Since natural disasters and personal security are among the factors aside from peace and order, Eleazar said the effects of the Taal Volcano eruption and other natural disasters that are beyond the control of the government played a big factor in the ranking.