Philippines' global peace index ranking plunges

By Jojo Malig, abs-cbnNEWS.com

Posted at Jan 24 2011 09:58 PM | Updated as of Jan 25 2011 04:00 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Rampant crime, terrorism and insurgency contributed to the big drop of the Philippines' Global Peace Index (GPI) ranking in 2010.
 
The Philippines placed 130th on a list of 149 countries in the 2010 GPI, according to a study published by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP). 
 
New Zealand ranked as the most peaceful country with a GPI rating of 1.188 on a 1-5 scale. Under the scale, 1 is the best score while 5 is the worst.
 
The Philippines’s scored 2.574, just behind Yemen and ahead of Burundi and Myanmar.
 
Afghanistan (3.252 GPI score), Somalia (3.390), and Iraq (3.406) were on the bottom of the list. 
 
Falling 10 rungs from its 2009 ranking, the Philippines was among 5 countries that registered the largest drop in the 2010 GPI.
 
The 4 other countries are Russia, Cyprus, Georgia, and Syria. 
 
The study said worsening peace and order in the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Pakistan pulled down the Asia-Pacific region’s overall situation.
 
Using a database of business analysis and intelligence reports from the Economist Intelligence Unit think-tank and global organizations, the IEP used 23 indicators to measure peace and order in 149 countries worldwide.
 
Academics, businessmen, philanthropists, and members of peace institutions selected each indicator, which are based on data covering the previous 2 years (2008-2009 in the case of the 2010 GPI).
 
Crime, terrorism, insurgency
 
The Philippines scored poorly in the levels of perceived criminality in the country (4), violent crime, intensity of internal conflicts (4), respect for human rights (4), potential for terrorist acts (4), likelihood of violent demonstrations (4), and ease of access to small arms and light weapons.
 
“The Philippines’ slide in the GPI rankings… echoes rises in the archipelago’s indicators of internal conflict and crime,” the study said.
 
It cited the worsening security situation in Sulu because of the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group and the communist insurgency in parts of the country. 
 
“Perceptions of criminality in Filipino society rose to a score of 4, defined as ‘high levels of distrust in other citizens,’” the study said. “Violent crime is high in many districts and armed guards are routinely deployed to defend private property.” 
 
It also mentioned kidnap-for-ransom as high risk, especially among members of the Filipino-Chinese community. 
 
Quoting data from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the study mentioned the higher homicide rate and the proportion of people in the country who are sent to jail. 
 
Other indicators that Philippines performed poorly are corruption perceptions, public spending on education, higher education enrolment, political culture, government function, and military capability and sophistication.
 
The 2011 GPI will be released in May this year.