Are there really more crimes in PH during election years?

by Kathleen A. Martin,

Posted at Feb 22 2013 11:46 AM | Updated as of Feb 24 2013 04:29 AM

PH safer than Indonesia, Myanmar

MANILA, Philippines - While the general perception of Filipinos is that crimes are more abundant during election years, the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) do not think so.

In fact, looking at numbers alone, the number of crimes has been on a decline from 2009 to 2012, and the polls in 2010 did not affect that trend at all.

The country saw the number of crimes fall by a whopping 35.5% to 324,083 in 2010 from the 502,665 reported in 2009, NSCB Secretary General Jose Ramon G. Albert said in the latest issue of Sexy Statistics.

The 2010 tally went down by a further 23.8% to 246,958 in 2011, and from this slid by 11.8% to 217,812 last year.

Aside from the decelerating rate, Albert pointed out "the 2012 crime figures still translates to an average of 597 crimes being committed per day in the country!"

Going back to crimes done during polling season, Albert said that during election years 2001, 2004 and 2007, the number of reported crimes indeed decreased from previous years. However, he noted a spike in the number for 2002 and 2008, which are years immediately following election years.

To counter claims that the numbers are only products of underreporting, Albert looked at the volume of intential homicides, which are more likely to be reported.

"If we were to examine the trends in the volume of intentional homicides, based on data compiled by the United Nations across countries, and look at these numbers in South East Asia economies, we will find that the Philippines fares comparatively well to our neighbors," Albert said.

"So, it’s not only more fun, but more safe in the Philippines, at least compared to Myanmar and Indonesia, which have far worse homicide statistics," he continued.

Moreover, Albert said the statistics only show elections do not drastically affect the crime rate in the country.

"If we examine the trends in homicides, we will find no significant difference in homicide statistics (whether rates, or volume per 100 thousand persons) in the Philippines between an election year and a non-election year."

This does not necessarily mean that gun ban and nationwide checkpoints during polling seasons are effective in preventing crimes, as Albert stressed "that remains to be fully explored."

Statistics showed that the National Capital Region, Region III or Central Luzon, and Region IV-A or Calabarzon had the highest number of crimes across the country.

Specifically, Albert said, the number of crimes in NCR averaged to 30 daily in 2012: two murders, one homicide, 25 physical injuries, and two rape cases.