Malacañang on Friday said authorities continue to maintain a tight watch against movements of suspected terrorists despite an improvement in the country’s ranking among countries affected by terrorism.
“The Philippines is continually exerting efforts to deter terrorism as it poses serious threats to peace and security in our land,” said Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr.
Coloma was reacting to a report by the Institute for Economics and Peace that the Philippines ranked 11th out of 162 countries considered greatly affected by terrorism in 2014, a two-notch improvement away from ninth place a year earlier.
According to its Global Terrorism Index (GTI) for 2015, the international research organization said the Philippines is the 11th country in the world in terms of having the highest number of deaths, injuries and damage to property as a result of terrorism in 2014.
The report said a total of 318 terrorism-related incidents occurred in the country in 2014, leaving 240 people dead and 367 injured and a total of 529 pieces of property destroyed.
Coloma welcomed the latest statistics as a positive development, although he said the job of curbing terrorism is still far from over.
“According to the same report, the Philippines is one of 5 countries with the largest decreases in deaths since 2013 at minus 51,” he noted.
The report said this made the Philippines the fifth out of the 162 countries assessed by the institute with the biggest improvement in mitigating fatalities from terrorism.
“The fifth biggest improvement occurred in the Philippines, which saw deaths decrease by 18 percent to 240 fatalities in 2014, down from 291 in 2013,” it added.