Philippine passport holders can now travel to 64 destinations with visa-free access — putting the country on the 80th spot in the global ranking.
Of this number, 34 countries allow Filipinos to enter visa-free while 30 others require visa-on-arrival (Sri Lanka on electronic Travel Authorization).
An exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) quoted the 2019 Henley Passport Index showing the country’s rating at 75th in 2018.
Japan and Singapore lead the ranking with visa-free access to 189 destinations while Afghanistan is lowest at 109th with 25 visa-free destinations.
Though pushed backward, the data also stated an economic boost among Asia Pacific nations.
“In Asia Pacific, international migration and mobility have become increasingly more complex, dynamic, and diverse, shaping the overall social, economic, and demographic conditions in the region,” it said.
The Henley Passport Index in the third quarter of 2019 reported that the United Nations estimate in 2017 showed that there were 80 million international migrants in the countries and areas comprising Asia Pacific.
International migration has not only helped stabilize economic growth in Asia Pacific but also enabled many labor-sending countries to sustain strong economic growth, even in times of crisis.
International migration has strengthened labor market mobility, remittances, and trade across Asia Pacific.
“For example, the Philippines has obtained USD33 billion in remittances from migrants, while other countries in the region— including China (USD64 billion), Pakistan (USD20 billion), and India (USD69 billion)— have likewise received remittances that have been vital to their economies,” the study added.
Recently, Taiwan extended its visa-free privilege for Filipinos for another year, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (Teco) announced Tuesday.
First implemented in 2017, it conveyed an increase in the number of Filipinos visiting Taiwan. In 2018, 419,000 Filipinos visited the country– around 44% higher compared to 2017.
The ranking is based on exclusive data from IATA, which maintains the world’s largest and most comprehensive database on travel information. (PNA)