Singapore dethrones Japan as the most powerful passport. What about the Philippines?

By: Kleo Catienza - Philippine Daily Inquirer | July 20,2023 - 07:06 PM

File photo of a Philippine passport.

| File photo

While the Philippine passport may not be as powerful as Singapore’s, it has been slowly making its way up the ranks in the global passport power play. And that’s progress, right? Or is it, really?

According to the latest Henley Passport Index update, the Philippines now holds the 74th most powerful passport among 119 countries. That’s four spots higher than its ranking in January 2023—a sign that the archipelago is on a fairly steady rise ranking-wise.

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Backed by data from the International Air Transport Association, the index revealed that the Philippines (alongside Armenia and Cape Verde Islands) currently has visa-free access to 66 out of 227 destinations.

Here’s the thing, though: The Philippines previously had visa-free entry to 67 destinations—one more than it does now. This setback may not appear inconsequential at first glance. But with aspirations to broaden horizons and foster stronger global connections, every destination counts, and every lost privilege stings.

Singapore tops the leaderboard

Meanwhile, Singapore has officially dethroned Japan as the world’s new passport powerhouse. “Japan has been knocked off the top spot on the Henley Passport Index for the first time in five years and bumped into third place,” wrote Henley in a statement.

The Singaporean passport grants its holders the freedom to travel to 192 destinations sans the hassle of securing a visa—an ultimate globetrotter’s dream.

An overview of the passport ranking

As Singapore reigns supreme, passport rankings have seemingly become a new battleground for nations seeking domination in the global arena.

Italy, Spain, and Germany sit at the second spot with visa-free access to 190 destinations. Joining Japan in third place are Austria, Sweden, South Korea, Finland, Luxembourg, and France. These countries grant their passport holders visa-free access to 189 destinations.

Afghanistan remains at the bottom of the ranking, with its passport offering visa-free entry to 27 destinations.

“The general trend over the history of the 18-year-old ranking has been towards greater travel freedom,” said Henley. “However, the global mobility gap between those at the top and bottom of the index is now wider than it has ever been.”


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TAGS: access, Japan, Passport, Philippines, Singapore, Travel, visa-free

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