Sunday, June 6, 2010

Manila, Cebu Nowhere among the Best

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Once again not a single city in the Philippines is at the top of the latest rankings, the Quality of Living Worldwide City Rankings 2010 - Mercer survey. This worldwide study assesses local living conditions of 420 cities with the following, but not limited to, factors: political, social, and economic environments, health, education, public utilities, recreation, consumer goods, and housing. So how exactly do our cities fare? For one, Cebu is not in the list at all, whereas Manila ranks 128th among 228 cities.
Manila skyline and its polluted air
Surely loyal and proud Filipinos will respond to this news rather aggressively. And so I've done the liberty of citing the reasons why Manila performed so low. 

Quoted from Slagin Parakatil, a senior researcher at Mercer:
“Quality of living declined in a few countries in Asia between the start of 2009 and 2010. Increasing threats of violence and terrorism, coupled with natural disasters such as earthquakes, typhoons and cyclones have had a negative impact on the quality of living in Asian cities...” 

I suppose most Filipinos are familiar with journalist killings, and terrorist groups such as MILF, Abu Sayaff, and NPA. And while entirely inevitable, natural calamities happen frequently in the country and therefore strongly influence its cities' rank.

With full access to the survey, GMANews also quoted other reasons: low levels of internal stability, traffic congestion, and air pollution.

How about in terms of eco-living? Manila fared even worse: 172nd. Eco-living is based on the availability and potability of water, waste removal, sewage systems quality, air pollution, and traffic congestion.

If there's anything to brag about is that we bested Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, a country economically better than us in terms of GDP.

Of course the definition of what the best is depends on the standards of every person. Some have even criticized that a criterion used in this survey may even be detrimental on another survey.

I haven't been to Manila for more than a year now but my three years of stay there certainly reflects the result of this survey. And for that matter, this even applies to other cities in the Philippines. 

Sources: and Mercer