July hasn’t been a good week for the Philippines when it comes to international rankings, and that has released a flurry of protests from government officials.
Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief General Guillermo Eleazar is the latest to complain, addressing the ranking from international publication Global Finance that had put the Philippines dead last in its ranking of the world’s safest countries.
“Hindi tumutugma ang aming crime statistics sa ranking na ito,” Eleazar said in a short video posted on the PNP’s Twitter feed. “Ang ating mga kasamahan sa media mismo ang magpapakatunay dahil madalas naming nilalabas ang crime situation sa ating bansa, kung saan makikita ang napakaling ipagbaba ng krimen.” (“Our crime statistics does not align with this ranking. Our fellows in the media themselves can attest [to this] because we regularly release the crime situation in our country, where the huge drop in crime can be seen.”)
The PNP Chief, PGEN GUILLERMO LORENZO T ELEAZAR on Philippines last in the safest country ranking.#PulisNgPilipino#WeServeAndProtect#IntensifiedCleanlinessPolicyhttps://t.co/txtYyrzpsGhttps://t.co/Et8tu4J5hMhttps://t.co/5enzGQHK0ahttps://t.co/EyNPCuygbF pic.twitter.com/8wY5a7fAnG
— Philippine National Police (@pnppio) July 9, 2021
Eleazar went on to say that crime rate in the first five years of the current administration is down 63%, as compared to the crime rate in the first five years of former president Benigno “PNoy” Aquino III’s term.
However, Eleazar acknowledged that the peace and order situation is but one of the factors considered in the ranking, which also takes into account the risk posed by natural disasters and by the pandemic. “Nevertheless, we will take this latest ranking as a challenge to do more in terms of further improving the peace and order and security of our country,” Eleazar concluded.
Eleazar is the third official to have had to air his disagreement with international rankings this month. First, the Philippines ended up in 52nd place out of 53 in Bloomberg’s Covid Resiliency Index, prompting Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III to complain in an interview with ABS-CBN that the ranking was “very unfair”.
Just last Monday, July 5, Department of Education Secretary Leonor Briones demanded—and received—an apology from the World Bank for its assessment on the Philippines’ educational system, which had said that over 80 percent of students fell below minimum proficiency requirements.
Yesterday, July 8, the World Bank released a statement apologizing for the release of the premature release of the report. “This was an oversight on our part, and we conveyed our personal apologies in our communication with the government. Recognizing the inadvertent release of the report, we have taken steps to temporarily remove it from the website,” the World Bank statement read.
Subscribe to The Coconuts Podcast for top trending news and pop culture from Southeast Asia and Hong Kong every Friday!