By Noreen Jazul
The Philippines ranked higher in the Henly Passport Index’s list of world’s most powerful passport for the year 2020.
With visa-free access to 67 countries, the Philippine passport placed 76th in the 2020 list or a notch higher than last year’s ranking at 77, and tied with Azerbaijan.
Meanwhile, Asian countries topped this year’s list with the Japan passport being named as the world’s most powerful passport with visa-free access to 191 countries, followed by Singapore (190), and Germany, and South Korea (189).
“Asian countries now dominate the upper reaches of the rankings,” Dominic Volek, head of Southeast Asia at Henly & Partners, said.
“The year 2020 marks the third year running in which Japan has held the top spot, and it seems clear that this trend is likely to continue,” he added.
Dr. Christian H. Kaelin, Chairman of Henley & Partners, for his part said the dominance of Asian countries on the top spots of the ranking is a “clear argument for the benefits of open-door policies and the introduction of mutually beneficial trade agreements.”
“Over the past few years, we have seen the world adapt to mobility as a permanent condition of global life. The latest rankings show that the countries that embrace this reality are thriving, with their citizens enjoying ever-increasing passport power and the array of benefits that come with it,” Dr. Kaelin added.
Other countries in the top 10 were: Finland and Italy (#4, 188); Denmark, Luxembourg, and Spain (#5, 187); France and Sweden (#6, 186); Austria, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland (#7, 185); Belgium, Greece, Norway, United Kingdom, United States (#8, 184); Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Malta, New Zealand (#9, 183); Hungary, Lithuania, and Slovakia (#10, 181).
Based on the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) data which was used by the Henly Passport Index to rank the countries, Philippine passport holders can have access to the following countries “without a prior visa”:
Asia – Brunei, Cambodia, Hong Kong (SAR China), Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Macao (SAR China), Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam; Africa – Cape Verde Islands, Comores Islands, Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Somalia, Tanzania, Togo, and Uganda; Oceania – Cook Islands, Fiji, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Niue, Palau Islands, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu; Carribean – Barbados, Dominica, Haiti, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago; Americas – Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica,
Ecuador, Nicaragua, Peru, Suriname, Middle East, Armenia, Iran, Israel, and Palestinian Territory.
Some of these countries provide Visa on arrival while some require Electornic Travel Authority.