The Philippines was the second worst country in a global study that evaluated the pandemic response of different nations, ranking 52nd out of 53 countries worldwide.
According to the Bloomberg COVID-19 Resilience Study published on June 28, the Philippines received a score of 45.3 in terms of its pandemic response. The index cited the country's poor vaccine rollout and lockdown severity, among others.
“India, the Philippines, and some Latin America countries rank lowest amid a perfect storm of variant-driven outbreaks, slow vaccination, and global isolation,” Bloomberg said in the report.
The Philippines lagged behind fellow ASEAN countries such as Singapore (67), Thailand (54.1), Vietnam (53.8), Indonesia (43.8), and Malaysia (46.6)
The five countries that topped the study are the US (76), New Zealand (73.7), Switzerland (72.9), Israel (72.9), and France (72.8). Meanwhile, Argentina is at the bottom of the list with a score of 37.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III described Bloomberg’s COVID-19 resilience study as “unfair” in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel on July 1.
According to Duque, the factors mentioned in the media company’s study are supposedly “skewed” to countries with a high vaccination rate. He said the Philippines still has a low number of fully vaccinated individuals since “richer countries” have secured the bulk of COVID-19 vaccines.
“It is very unfair and it is only showing that those countries that have already been vaccinated and reached a population protection of more than 50%,’” Duque said.
Duque also defended the Philippines’ pandemic response, citing that the country is doing well in other factors mentioned in the study, such as the number of cases per 100,000 population.
Duque saud the DOH "will exercise the option of writing a letter” to question Bloomberg’s study. “There has to be a better balance,” he added.
Despite the country’s low ranking, Palace spokesman Harry Roque said that economic managers are “confident” that the Philippines will recover from the effects of the pandemic on June 30.
“Hindi po natin makakailala na talagang malaki ang naging epekto ng pandemya sa ating ekonomiya. Pero ang ating economic team naman ay kampante na tayo po ay unti-unti nang bumabangon at tuluyang makakabangon," Roque said during an inoculation program for essential workers in Laguna today, July 1.
As of this writing, the Philippines has logged a total of 1,412,559 COVID-19 cases.
(Banner photo by Edd Gumban/The Philippine STAR)