The Malacañang had a witty way to dismiss placing dead last in Bloomberg’s list.
The Philippines has not been in favorable spots in recent studies. From being the least safe country in the world to Manila making it to the list of most stressful cities, global surveys are providing a new perspective on the reality that Filipinos face every day.
Another grim reality came into light as Bloomberg released their monthly COVID resilience ranking, which revealed that the Philippines is the worst place to be in during a global pandemic.
Bloomberg’s ranking, which serves as a “snapshot of where the virus is being handled the most effectively with the least social and economic upheaval,” saw the Philippines place dead last out of 53 countries.
Flanked by fellow Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, and Vietnam in the bottom rungs, the Philippines’ poor ranking is due to the “onslaught of the delta variant” coupled with a “slow vaccination rollout” and an “inadequate testing regime” to contain the contagious strain, per Bloomberg.
Bloomberg put the Philippines’ vaccine coverage rate at 20 percent, among the lowest on the list. The country also underperformed in terms of COVID-19 containment, posting the second-worst positive test rate at 27 percent, only better than Mexico.
In analyzing and arriving at its rankings, the New York-based media conglomerate considered 12 data indicators, including virus containment, the quality of healthcare, vaccination coverage, overall mortality and progress toward restarting travel, and easing border curbs, among others.
Occupying the higher end of the list are European nations, led by Ireland which sits at #1.
Acknowledging the Philippines’ decline in Bloomberg’s resiliency list, the Malacañang dismissed any negative implications by instead turning to the number of nations included in the survey.
“Mapapansin n’yo po ang Bloomberg, 194 countries, 53 lang po ang ini-survey,” said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque. “Kaya po maintindihan ng lahat, kapag tayo po ay huli, hindi naman ibig sabihin huli sa buong mundo. Huli lang tayo sa mga pinag-aralan ng Bloomberg.”
Roque also asserted that the poor pandemic response that resulted in the decline is due to richer countries “hoarding” COVID-19 vaccines. He nonetheless claimed that the country now has enough supply and should be able to catch up to other nations.
However, he conceded that the Philippines has failed in terms of economic resilience because of the series of lockdowns imposed by the government. “Siguro where we can agree is ang tine-test nila, economic resilience… Every time kasi [na] tayo [ay] nagla-lockdown, nagsasara ang ekonomiya at wala pong economic resilience,” Roque said.
“In that sense we agree, na siguro dapat talagang we need to learn to live with the virus at hindi solusyon talaga ang lockdown,” he added.
Art Daniella Sison