MANILA, Philippines – Are you looking for the next country to visit in 2018?
Good news: Philippine passport holders can now travel to 63 countries and territories visa-free!
This makes the Philippines rank 72nd out of 199 passports according to Henley and Partners' latest Visa Restrictions Index for 2018 – an improvement from last year's 75th rank.
In a press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the government is working to improve access to other countries. (READ: 15 destinations around the world for Filipino travelers)
"We are assuring everyone that our people at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) will continue to work toward securing visa-free access of Filipinos to more countries," Roque said.
Here is a list of countries and territories where Filipinos can travel visa-free. Places marked with (*) will be issued a visa on arrival, while those with (**) will be issued an electronic travel authority upon arrival:
Taiwan is currently not on the list of places that allow Filipinos visa-free, as Taiwan's visa-free initiative is on a 9-month trial period from November 1, 2017 until July 31, 2018.
Globally, Germany has topped the list for 5 consecutive years, allowing passport holders to travel to 177 countries without visa. It is followed by Singapore with access to 176 countries.
Afghanistan is at the bottom at 104th with only 24 countries. Syria (ranked 102nd) and Iraq (ranked 103rd) have visa-free access to 28 and 27 countries respectively.
In Southeast Asia, Singapore continues to lead the region. It is followed by Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam allowing its passport holders to visit to 166 countries and 153 countries respectively without a visa. (READ: When to skimp, when to spend: Budget travel tips)
Myanmar has the least number of countries in Southeast Asia where its passport holders can travel to at 42 countries visa-free.
Meanwhile, Georgia has the biggest improvement on the Henley Passport Index this year from its previous ranking of 68th to 53rd, with access to 99 countries.
The ranking is based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which maintains the world's larges and most comprehensive database on travel information. – Rappler.com