Published by the Visayan Daily Star
Editor-in-Chief & President
Bureau Chief, Dumaguete
MAJA P. DELY
|CARLOS ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA
The latest iteration of the decade-old Unisys Security Index that included the Philippines for the first time indicated that Filipinos worry far more than other countries as the Philippines topped the list of 13 countries in the index whose results were released this week.
It turns out Filipinos ranked natural disasters and identity theft as the issues that worry them most among the list of security concerns that included paying debts, personal safety and online shopping. The index showed that 93 percent of Filipinos expressed concerns on these twin issues.
John Kendall, Unisys director of border and national security programs, said this underscored “the very real threat that their personal details may be stolen and sold on the dark web – highlighted by last year's breach of the Philippine voter registry database,” referring to the hacking of the Commission on Elections website that compromised the personal data of millions of voters.
The Philippines was also the only country that ranked natural disasters among its top two concerns, likely due to its vulnerability to natural calamities like earthquakes and powerful storms. Bank card fraud also concerned 89 percent of Filipino responders and computer viruses/hacking threats worried 88 percent.
The Philippines scored 243 points in the index or 40 percent above the global average of 173 points.
Proactive government officials should take note of the worrisome state of Filipinos as their worries indicate a general lack of trust in the ability of their government to protect them from those fears. Our top two fears wouldn't be natural disasters and identity theft if our experiences with those threats in the past had been positive or if the government had been able to convince its people of any improved ability to face such threats should our country encounter them again.
Individuals can afford to dismiss worrying as a waste of time but astute governments can use the knowledge of what their citizens worry about as a tool to craft policies that could ease those worries.
There must be something our government can do for the legitimate worries of its own people. *