Your Philippine passport just became more powerful.
The Henley Passport Index recently released its ranking of passports from countries all around the world. With even more visa-free countries for Filipino passport holders—Taiwan being a notable addition—the Philippines went five places up from 75th last year to the 70th spot this year.
Last year, the Taiwanese government announced that Filipinos could now stay in the country for 14 days without a visa for purposes of tourism, business, visiting relatives, and events. This is due to Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy, which aims to improve the country’s cooperation with neighboring countries in the region.
How will this change things for Philippine passport holders?
The world’s top passports
For quite some time now, Singapore and Germany have been battling it out for the title “most powerful passport in the world.” The title went to a new contender this year.
In 2018, Japan has claimed the top spot. A Japanese passport can give its citizens access to 189 countries without a visa or by merely securing a visa on arrival.
Former champions Singapore and Germany are tied in second place with a total of 188 visa-free countries.
Meanwhile, six countries were able to land in the third place: South Korea, Finland, France, Italy, Spain, and Sweden. Citizens of these countries can travel visa-free (or visa on arrival) to 187 destinations.
Other countries that reached the top 10 in Henley and Partners Passport Index are the following:
- Fourth place (186 visa-free destinations): Norway, United Kingdom, Austria, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, the United States
- Fifth place (185 visa-free destinations): Denmark, Belgium, Switzerland, Ireland, Canada
- Sixth place (183 visa-free destinations): Australia, Greece
- Seventh place (182 visa-free destinations): New Zealand, Czech Republic, Malta
- Eighth place (181 visa-free destinations): Iceland
- Ninth place (180 visa-free destinations): Hungary, Slovenia, Malaysia
- Tenth place (197 visa-free destinations): Slovakia, Latvia, Lithuania
Meanwhile, in Southeast Asia, there’s a different ranking going on. With Singapore and Malaysia snagging the second and ninth places in global rankings, respectively, it’s pretty obvious that they’ll rank the highest in regional scores.
Here’s how our neighbors—and ourselves—fared in the Southeast Asian rankings:
- Singapore: 188 countries
- Malaysia: 180 countries
- Brunei: 165 countries
- Timor Leste: 98 countries
- Thailand: 76 countries
- Indonesia: 71 countries
- Philippines: 66 countries
- Cambodia: 54 countries
- Laos: 52 countries
- Vietnam: 51 countries
- Myanmar: 48 countries
The Philippines has been showing significant improvements in terms of visa-free destinations. In 2015, our ranking in Henley and Partners Passport index fell 12 places to 80th from 2014’s 68th place. However, the country quickly picked up the pace as it went up to 76th place in 2016 and 75th in 2017.
Asian countries like the Philippines are improving their rankings on the list because of improved relations with other countries and starting visa-free agreements that could boost tourism and commerce for all sides, the advisory firm said in a statement.
“While Schengen Area countries have traditionally topped the index as a result of their open access to Europe, developed Asian nations have been able to secure equally high scores in recent years thanks to their strong international trade and diplomatic relations.
“With close to 40 visa-waiver agreements signed by governments since the start of the year, passport-holders around the world go into the summer season with greater collective access than ever before.”
Tour de force
Now that there are more countries you can visit without prior visa application, it’s about time you plan your trip accordingly, so you can hit as many countries as you can with only one flight out of the Philippines.
Here are all the 66 countries, divided by region that you can fly to without securing a visa beforehand:
|3. Hong Kong|
|14. Sri Lanka|
|21. Cape Verde Islands|
|22. Comores Islands|
|23. Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)|
|40. Cook Islands|
|42. Marshall Islands|
|45. Palau Islands|
|46. Papua New Guinea|
|52. St. Lucia|
|53. St. Vincent and the Grenadines|
|54. Trinidad and Tobago|
|58. Costa Rica|
|66. Palestinian Territory|