PH not ranked last in the world on COVID-19 resilience, Palace clarifies

Published September 30, 2021, 4:27 PM

by Ellson Quismorio

If it’s any consolation, the Philippines isn’t technically the worst in the world when it comes to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) resilience.

Social realism artists Sim Tolentino, Bryan Barrios, and Moks–collectively known as the Simbbmoks–render a mural on the wall of the Columban Mission in the Philippines in Singalong Street, Manila. The mural depicts the struggle of Filipino heath workers in saving the lives of their patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Ali Vicoy/ MANILA BULLETIN)

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque brought up Bloomberg’s latest COVID-19 Resilience Ranking report anew on Thursday, Sept. 30, as he sought to clarify a key detail about the Philippines’s ranking there.

Bloomberg ranked the Philippines 53rd out of 53 countries that it surveyed.

“Mapapansin ninyo po ang Bloomberg – 194 countries, 53 lang po ang sinurvey. Now kaya po maintindihan po ng lahat kapag tayo po ay huli, hindi naman po ibig sabihin huli tayo sa buong mundo. Huli lang tayo doon sa mga pinag-aralan ng Bloomberg (As you’ve noticed with Bloomberg, there are 194 countries but it only surveyed 53. Now to explain this to everyone, being in last place there does not mean we are in last place in the entire world. We’re only last based on those studied by Bloomberg),” Roque said.

“Marami rin pong mga kuwestiyon ang lumalabas diyan sa survey na ‘yan (A lot of questions have also come out from that survey),” added the Palace mouthpiece.

On Wednesday, Roque commented that it wasn’t a surprise that the Philippines and other Southeast Asian nations fared poorly in the COVID-19 resiliency ranking.

“We are not surprised that the Philippines, together with other Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam are at the bottom of the list while countries which topped the list are developed countries such as Ireland, Spain, Netherlands, Finland and Denmark,” he said.

Roque again highlighted the importance of having access to vaccines in responding to the pandemic. Unfortunately, some of the wealthier countries in the world hoarded the life-saving jabs, he said.

“Aminado tayo na talagang nagkulang iyong ating mga bakuna dahil sa buong daigdig eh sinolo po ng mga mayayamang bansa ‘yung bakuna kaya nga po medyo mas nauna iyong mga developed countries na magbukas ng ekonomiya matapos nilang bakunahan iyong kanilang mga kababayan (We admit that we really didn’t have enough vaccines, the rich countries hoarded them, that’s why these developed countries were able to vaccinate their citizens first and reopen their economies),” he underscored.

But it hasn’t been a total losing streak for the Philippines in terms of its response to COVID-19.

Earlier this month, Roque hailed local frontline healthcare workers for keeping the country’s COVID-19 case fatality rate at below the world average.

He also said that there is now an abundance of COVID-19 jabs, which allowed President Duterte to greenlight the inoculation of the general population as well as pediatric vaccination.