Having the world’s worst airport, worst traffic, slowest internet, and all those upside-down world distinctions should be enough to put the Aquino government and every Filipino to shame.
But if you think these define the limits or extent of our humiliation, think again!
Believe it or not, during the nearly six years of governance by President Benigno BS Aquino 3rd, we have experienced what should be considered the worst indignity of all.
IN both quality of life and quality of death, Philippines, our Philippines, fares badly in comparison to the rest of Southeast Asia, Asia and the entire world.
Deep down, we all suspected that the quality of life hereabouts is subpar, because of the many miseries and deprivations we live with every day, whether we live in the national capital or in the countryside.
What is depressing to discover is the fact that the quality of death hereabouts is worse than you could ever have imagined.
Quality of death
What kind of twisted soul am I that I happen to collect information on these matters? Do I do it just to torment or annoy President Aquino?
No, my interest is strictly journalistic and patriotic? I want to be proud of my country and my people? Which I was once upon a time.
Blame it if you wish on the highly respected British weekly, the Economist, than which there is no better weekly newsmagazine today.
In a 2015 quality of death study index, Economist listed the Philippines as one of the worst places to die in, next to Iraq and Bangladesh.
The Economist Intelligence Unit, in a documented report, ranked the Philippines as 78th out of 80 countries.
The quality of death index was measured across five categories: palliative and healthcare environment; human resources, affordable care, quality of care, and level of community engagement.
Our low ranking is surprising because nursing and caregiving are popular professions in the country. And Filipinos are known to care for their loved ones all the way up to the grave.
In the rankings, Malaysia ranked 38th, Thailand 44th, Vietnam, 58th,Sri Lanka 65th, and India 67th.
As already noted, we were 78th. Iraq was 79th, and Bangladesh was 80th.
It’s possible that the Economist decided to publicize the index after the distressing and embarrassing story about the Anglo-American Nobel laureate who died in the country beause of the denial of hospital care.
Really cringe-worthy that one.
I suspect that our quality of death ranking will sink even further with the confused handling of all the massacres and disasters by the administration.
Quality of life
Given the quality of death record, it‘s no surprise that we perform just as poorly in the quality of life index.
Mercer’s quality of living survey is internationally regarded as the world’s most comprehensive quality of living survey. It is produced for and used by global companies.
Mercer’s lists and ranks cities, not countries.
In the Mercer’s quality of life index 2016, the following were the salient findings:
Singapore remains the highest ranking city in Asia; while Dhaka , the capital of Bangladesh, holds the tailend.
Following Singapore in Southeast Asia are:
Kuala Lumpur (86); Bangkok (129); Manila (136); and Jakarta (142).
Other Asian cities in the rankings are:
Tokyo (44); Hong Kong (70); Taipei (84); Shanghai (101); and Beijing (118).
The cities of Australia and New Zealand have some of the highest quality of living ratings worldwide.
These are: Auckland (3); Sydney (10); Wellington (12); and Melbourne (15).
Vienna, Austria won the Oscar as the city with the highest quality of life.
The Economist, for its part, rates cities based on what it calls the Economist Intelligence Unit liveability index.
Its 2015 index ranked Manila as 104th among the world’s top cities in terms of liveability, which is loosely defined as suitability for living in, and pleasantness to live in.
Even President Aquino, for all his claims that the Philippines is now “the darling of Asia,” will not dare fantasize that Manila would have a high quality of life rating – given the dismal traffic, the poor infrastructure, and the slum conditions that dot the urban landscape.
My son who rides the LRT and MRT every day tells me that you can tell a lot about our quality of life in the metropolis by viewing our capital from above ground level.
That’s not even talking yet about the quality of life inside our homes and on our dining tables. Also deserving to be factored in are the quality of education, the amenities of social life; the quality of leisure and entertainment, and life inside our work places.
World’s worst Supreme Court?
The world has become increasingly competitive on nearly everything. Nations and cities are now regularly ranked on the basis of their governance and quality of institutions.
Global lists and rankings are being published somewhere every day.
Last month, I was clued in by a friend to look at a new Global Good Country Index, which measures and ranks each country’s contribution to international life and the welfare of humanity. How our country fares in this one must wait for another column.
I expect that there will be soon a listing or ranking of the world’s Supreme Courts, and the quality of the rule of law in nations.
Guess whose Supreme Court is likely to be in the running as the world’s worst Supreme Court – if as my colleague Kit Tatad fears, our SC justices deal the death blow to the Constitution and the High Court.
I await with bated breath the announcement today of the Court’s verdict on the motions for review of its controversial decision on the Grace Poe disqualification case.