6 SAFEST CITIES IN THE PHILIPPINES

Last time, we’ve written the most dangerous cities in the Philippines based on crime rate and
susceptibility to natural disasters – Manila, Quezon City, Tacloban City, Cotabato City,
Kidapawan City, and Zamboanga City. That is why we’ve also listed six of the safest cities in the
country (as promised).

Davao City

Davao City is the largest city in the country, yet, it is the fifth safest city in the world and the
safest city in the country based on the survey conducted by the crowdsourcing website,
numbeo.com. On June 2015, it has a safety index of 81.82 and a crime index of 18.18.
Furthermore, according to Asiaweek, Davao is one of best cities in Asia.

GMA Network also listed Davao as one of the most livable cities in the Philippines. In the article,
travel blogger Ivan Henares associate Davao’s relatively low crime rate to the “political will of
the mayor”.

Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, often dubbed as ‘The Punisher,’ has transformed Davao “the murder
capital of the Philippines” into the safest city in the country. This mayor allegedly uses vigilante
methods and even issued shoot-to-kill orders to maintain the peace and order in the city.

These rumors have called the attention of human rights advocates. Yet, many Filipinos still push
Duterte to run for president this coming 2016 Elections for the hope that his disciplinary actions
may be used to reduce the crime rate in the whole Philippines.

Aside from that, Davao is also the richest city outside Metro Manila according to the National
Statistics Board.

Valenzuela City

While Davao City was ranked as the fifth safest city in the world, Valenzuela City was also listed
as the third safest city in terms of crime rate in Asia, according to Numbeo. It has high scores in
terms of safety to stroll by day (88.87) and night (64.67).

Representative Win Gatchalian, who was also Valenzuela’s mayor for nine years, commended
the city’s local government, including the barangay workers, for maintaining safety and security.
He also challenged Valenzuela’s police force to strive harder to beat this latest record.

Among the numerous awards received by the city are Philippine National Police’s Best City
Police Station, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology’s Best City Jail (2014), Philippine
Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s 2014 Most Business-friendly City (Highly Urbanized City
Category), Champion of DILG’s 3 rd e-Gov ICT Awards (2014), and World Bank’s Business-
friendly City in the Philippines (2011).

Valenzuela was ranked as the second safest city in the country despite of the Kentex factory
incident which killed 72 people last May. This challenges the City Government of Valenzuela to
improve the safety not only of its residents, but also of its workers who are the primary drivers of
the city’s economy.

Laoag City

Laoag City has been the country’s Hall of Famer Awardee for the Cleanest, Safest, and
Greenest Component from 2000 to 2002. The city also bagged the title in 2013 and 2014, and it
was also recognized as the Cleanest, Greenest, and Safest Local Government Unit (LGU) in
Region 1 for 2015.

The Local Government Unit credits the awards to the efforts of the residents and the officials in
maintaining the city’s peace and order. The city also has one of the lowest crime rate not only in
the region, but also in the Philippines.

The annual search aims to recognize the roles of the Local Government Units “in the protection,
management, and promotion of clean, safe and peaceful environment.” It is spearheaded by the
Regional Development Council (RDC). Moreover, one of the Search Committee Members is
from the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA). The criteria for this award are 75%
for environmental management and 25% for safety, and peace and order.

Cebu City

According to an article in Rappler, Cebu City is one of the most ‘walkable’ and ‘bikeable’ cities in
the country. The recognition was based primary to the Green City Loop Experiment on
September 28, 2014 when half of the “4 major roads from 3 pm to 7 pm were reserved for
pedestrians, cyclists and joggers.” The experiment was meant for a long-term road project of the
City Government of Cebu.

Cebu, dubbed as the “Queen City of the South,” is also the sixth richest city in the Philippines.
According to the Philippine Star, Cebu City is generally peaceful. No incident was also recorded
this Valentine’s Day 2015. Another article of the Philippine Star suggests that Cebu City is safe
for dating.

Cagayan de Oro City

Dubbed as the “Golden City of Friendship,” Cagayan de Oro boasts itself as the “home to
friendly and warm Filipinos.” The Primavera Residences also considers it as one of the most
business-friendly cities in the country.

Cagayan de Oro won the ‘2014 Livable Cities Design Challenge’ organized by the National
Competitiveness Council (NCC) and the United States Agency for International Development
(USAid). The primary category of the Challenge is the cities’ urban planning relative to the
disaster-risk reduction.

The city won the “Government Center” which suggests the excellent urban planning in CDO
including disaster-resistant buildings such as schools, hospitals, and workplaces – which made
it a relatively disaster-resistant city. Its evacuation sites are already prepared for possible
disasters.

Furthermore, Cagayan de Oro’s Senior Superintendent Graciano Mijares, the city’s police chief
for 2014, said that while Northern Mindanao’s crime rate had gone up from 2013 to 2014
(according to Philippine National Police), Cagayan de Oro has lower crime rate compared to its
neighboring cities and municipalities.

In addition, the city’s police force and barangay leaders launched an anti-crime partnership this
May 2015 to strengthen the city’s safety and security. The city’s police director recognized the
important role of the barangay police in fighting against crime. They are also looking forward to
a more effective and efficient anti-crime programs and strategies.

Lucena City

According to the Philippine Inquirer, Lucena City is one of the best cities in the country. In the
article, one of Lucena’s residents claimed that that “it has the lowest crime rate compared to its
counterparts around the country, has the most number of financial and educational institutions,
is far less crowded, excellent water and electricity supplies, and a booming real estate and
leisure industry. It is also far less polluted and more convenient in terms of public
infrastructures.”

However, the city has experienced numerous hideous crimes just like other cities. This includes
the bank robbery in 2012. These incidents alarmed the residents and business owner. That is
why in 2014, Quezon Police Director PSSupt Ronaldo Genaro Ylagan, clarified that the “sudden
rise in the provincial crime rate was a result demonstrating the effectiveness of their system”

which encourages people to report crimes and abuses. The crimes in the city are also
associated to the dealings of illegal drugs in the city.

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