Manila one of the least safe cities globally – Safe Cities Index

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine capital has been rated as one of the world's least safe cities in the 2017 edition of the Safe Cities Index, the first time Manila appeared in the listing.

Manila ranked number 55 out of 60 major cities in the ranking, released by the Economist Intelligence Unit this month. The city scored 54.86 out of a possible 100, which is derived from ratings on 4 categories:

Manila scored lowest in terms of digital security (rank 59, score 36.61), and in infrastructure security (number 56, score 52.89).

Digital security encompasses safety from digital threats, such as cybercrimes and hacking into vital infrastructure such as power grids and transport systems.

The report said that in the case of Manila and 3 other low-income cities on the bottom of the digital security list, the city lacks technological know-how and "competing challenges such as tackling infectious diseases and poverty can push cyber security lower on the list of priorities."

Meanwhile, infrastructure security includes safety of buildings, roads, bridges, and other physical infrastructure, from both disasters and terrorist attacks.

It factored in age of infrastructure, plus the presence or lack of planning, as well as the threat of climate change. The report also cites Manila's vulnerability to natural disasters.

The city ranked 49th in terms of health security (which includes public health and environment), and 39 in personal security (which includes safety from crime and other man-made threats).

"The results of the 2017 Safe Cities Index, which now covers 60 cities, again show a sharp divide in overall levels of safety between the fast urbanizing developing world and the stagnant developed world," the report said.

Asian cities at top, bottom

Asian cities dominate both the top and the bottom of the Safe Cities Index this year. At the top of the list are the cities of Tokyo, Singapore, and Osaka, while at the bottom are Karachi, Yangon, and Dhaka.

The report said that in many cities, security is also falling rather than rising, based on the cities' scores.

The Safe Cities Index, first released in 2015, ranks cities from around the globe on various safety and security parameters, ranging from the safety of buildings and infrastructure to vulnerabilities of citizens to crime and terrorism.

The report aims to help "understand the landscape of public safety, particularly in urban areas."

For the 2017 ranking, the list of cities was expanded from 50 to 60, with Manila among the latest additions.

Data was collected from June to August 2017. The full report can be accessed at the Economist Intelligence Unit website. – Rappler.com