The Philippine passport has consistently been sitting on the bottom half of the list of the world’s most powerful passports for years now.
In the 2021 Henley Passport Index, it landed on the 77th spot (out of 110 destinations), three positions lower than its ranking in 2020, which is 74th. The Philippines shares the spot with West Africa’s Cape Verde Islands and North America’s Dominican Republic.
Past rankings show that the Philippine passport placed on the 63rd and 62nd spots between 2006 to 2008 and from thereon stayed in the 70s. It took the 80th spot in 2015.
The annual passport index, which were done by London-based Henley & Partners, and based on data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), shows the number of destinations the passport holders can access without prior visa. This year, Philippine passport holders can travel visa free to 66 destinations, which include Cambodia, Brazil, Hong Kong, Mongolia, and Singapore. (You can check the other countries with visa-free access on this link. Take note of the temporary travel restrictions imposed by Covid-19 protocols).
Henley & Partners is a consultancy firm that specializes in residence and citizenship planning, and collaborates with governments around the world. IATA, on the other hand, is the trade association for the world’s airlines, representing 290 airlines or 82% of total air traffic. It claims to maintain the world’s largest and most accurate database of travel information.
The dominance of Asia Pacific (APAC) region countries is notable on the list. Japan continues to hold the number one position on the index, with passport holders able to access 191 destinations around the world visa-free. This marks the third consecutive year that Japan has held the top spot, either alone or jointly with Singapore.
Singapore sits in 2nd position, with access to 190 destinations, and South Korea holds onto 3rd place alongside Germany, with both having a visa-free/visa-on-arrival score of 189. Slightly further down but still in the top 10, New Zealand is in 7th position, with visa-free access to 185 destinations, while Australia is in 8th position, with access to 184 destinations.
Due to pandemic-related travel constraints, travelers from both the UK and the US currently face major restrictions from over 105 countries, with US passport holders able to travel to fewer than 75 destinations, while UK passport holders currently have access to fewer than 70.