Hontiveros to DOH: PH’s low ranking due to govt’s poor pandemic response

Published July 1, 2021, 3:51 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Senator Risa Hontiveros on Thursday, July 1 said the Philippines’ poor performance in Bloomberg’s latest COVID-19 Resilience Ranking was due to the government’s poor response to the pandemic, not because of the inequitable distribution of vaccines across the globe.

“Was the Bloomberg report unfair? It’s more unfair that this health and economic response has been so poor in protecting our people from the worst effects of COVID-19, and of the recession,” Hontiveros said in an interview on ANC’s Headstart.

“The one who should be pissed off must not be the Health Secretary, but our people—not the Bloomberg report—because it’s just the latest reflection of the truth on the ground,” she pointed out.

“What is really more annoying for the public is the very poor health response and within that, the poor economic response,” she reiterated.

She also said the government’s vaccination program is just the fifth part of the country’s COVID-19 pandemic response.

Besides, Hontiveros said it was not Bloomberg who “dropped the ball” on vaccine procurement: “Are we going to blame Bloomberg? They’re just doing their duty as a very passionate, hard-nosed economic publication and monitor.”

Rather than be upset, Hontiveros said the Department of Health (DOH) and the rest of the agencies comprising the national task force against COVID-19 should step up to the job.

“Rather than getting mad, we should step up,” the senator stressed.

“I’m sorry, it was the health department, under the leadership of the secretary, that has been dropping the ball so far,” the lawmaker said.

The latest Bloomberg report showed the Philippines slipping into the second-to-the-last position in a global ranking measuring the success of the 53 biggest economies at containing the coronavirus pandemic.

Duque said the report was unfair as he blamed the inequitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines across the world for the country’s poor performance, pointing ut that rich countries have hoarded the supplies and left poor and developing countries to fend for themselves.