How far can your Philippine passport take you without a visa?
The latest global index of an international residence and citizenship planning company revealed that Filipino citizens have visa-free access to only 58 countries out of 218 countries, a far cry from the United Kingdom, Finland and Sweden, whose citizens can visit 173 countries without a visa.
The Philippines occupies the 69th place in the 2013 Visa Restrictions Index by Henley & Partners, which ranked countries according to the number of nations their citizens can access with just a passport.
Coming one rank ahead of the Philippines was Moldova, whose citizens can visit 59 countries. Indonesia, meanwhile, ranks 73rd along with Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali, Niger and Togo. Indonesian citizens can only visit 53 countries without a visa.
At the bottom of the 219-country rankings is Afghanistan, whose citizens have visa-free access to a total of 28 countries.
In a statement, the company said the results of the survey showed that “membership of the European Union (EU) is a key determinant of ease of movement across frontiers.”
Henley and Partners said that although no single nationality is able to access as many as 80 per cent of other countries, “there is a strong correlation between average wealth and access to open frontiers.”
It noted that the other non-EU countries whose citizens have visa-free access to over 170 destinations are wealthy states like Canada, Japan, Norway, New Zealand and Switzerland.
The United States, which figures as a top destination for Filipinos whether for permanent residence or vacation, allows its citizens to travel to 172 countries without a visa.
According to data compiled by the DFA’s Office of Consular Affairs and GMA News Online in 2012, at least 25 countries allow Filipinos to enter visa-free.
These countries include most of the Philippines’ Southeast Asian neighbors, but also Latin American tourist destinations Brazil, Peru, Bolivia and Costa Rica.
Citizens from 151 countries, meanwhile, are allowed to stay in the Philippines without a visa for 30 days as of August 2013.