Manila lags in liveability index
Threats of terror and conflict, as well as a poor healthcare system continued to drag the quality of living conditions in Manila, according to the latest report from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
Based on this year’s edition of the Global Liveability Index, Manila again ranked 104th out of the 140 cities assessed in this survey, with a score of 62 out of 100.
“Neither the rank nor the score of Manila has changed in the last 12 months. The ranking score has improved by one place from 105th five years ago, but the score is unchanged,” Jon Copestake, editor of the survey, explained in an e-mail to the Inquirer.
Copestake further disclosed that within the Asian region, Manila ranked 26th out of the 37 cities, while within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the Philippine capital ranked fourth out eight cities. It should be noted that cities in Laos and Myanmar were not ranked and that there were two cities in Vietnman included in the survey.
Living conditions in Manila
This concept of liveability assesses which locations provide the best or the worst living conditions globally.
Manila, along with 139 other cities included in the Global Liveability Report 2017, were assessed using over 30 qualitative and quantitative factors across five broad categories namely stability; healthcare; culture and environment; education; and infrastructure. Each factor is rated as acceptable, tolerable, uncomfortable, undesirable or intolerable.
“(Manila) scored worst for stability and healthcare, and best for education and infrastructure, but largely scores between categories do not vary greatly. This contrasts with other Asean cities where the differences between category scores (good and bad) are more pronounced,” Copestake disclosed.
Indicators under the stability pillar included prevalence of petty crime and violent crime; as well as threats of terror, military conflict, and civil unrest. Indicators under healthcare meanwhile included the availability and quality of private healthcare; availability and quality of public healthcare; availability of over-the-counter drugs; and general healthcare indicators.
Copestake however pointed out that the survey doesn’t seek to proscribe how a city can make improvements. It instead represented a “snapshot of where a city stands overall and analysis of how to make improvements would require more detailed analysis.”
“Factors like public healthcare, the road network and public transport would generally represent areas for improvement,” he further noted.
Globally, Melbourne in Australia was identified as the most liveable urban center for the seventh consecutive year, followed closely by the Austrian capital, Vienna.
Canadian cities Vancouver, Toronto, and Calgary occupy the third to fifth place respectively. Rounding up the top 10 most liveable cities were Adelaide (Australia); Perth (Australia); Auckland (New Zealand); Helsinki (Finland); and Hamburg (Germany).
The survey also identified Damascus in Syria as the least liveable city.
The EIU report pointed out that “although the top five cities remain unchanged, the past few years have seen increasing instability across the world, causing volatility in the scores of many cities.”
“The impact of declining stability is most apparent when a five-year view of the global average scores is taken. Overall, the global average liveability score has fallen by 0.8 percent to 74.8 percent over the past five years. Weakening stability has been a key factor in driving this decrease. The average global stability score has fallen by 2 percent over the past five years, from 73.4 percent in 2012 to 71.4 percent now,” it added.
Since the global liveability ranking took its current form a decade ago, the world has seen a global economic crisis, a European currency crisis, anti-austerity riots, civil wars in Europe and the Middle East, a refugee crisis and mounting terror attacks. The recent attacks in Manchester, London and Stockholm have highlighted the continued threat from global terrorism.