Human rights lawyer Jose Manuel ‘Chel’ Diokno expressed dismay on Saturday, Jan. 29, over the Bloomberg survey that ranked the Philippines at the bottom on coronavirus disease (COVID-19) resilience.
Diokno, a senatorial aspirant, lamented the country’s last-place standing again in the latest Bloomberg survey released on Thursday, Jan. 27.
The latest international COVID-19 report marked the third time in the last five months that the Philippines ranked last among the 53 countries in its list.
The country’s rating slightly improved in December 2021 when it climbed to 50th spot with a score of 52, but it again ranked the worst this month with a score of 48.3.
“Urong-sulong na lang ang ating bansa pagdating sa COVID-19 resilience, lalo pa’t nabahiran pa ng katiwalian ang kampanya natin laban sa COVID-19 (Our country has been wishy-washy when it comes to COVID-19 resilience, especially our COVID-19 campaign is tainted with anomalies),” Diokno said.
He suggested that the government must ramp up its vaccination rollout in far-flung areas to help improve the country’s lowest COVID-19 resilience ranking.
“Instead of hitting the survey, the government should use it as guide on how to further improve its vaccination program, amid the surge due to the Omicron variant,” Diokno stressed.
“The survey talked about the country’s vulnerability in terms of vaccination difficulties in remote areas so we must address it with utmost urgency,” he added.
If elected to the Senate, Diokno has committed to push for the creation of a science- and technology-driven Pandemic Management Council (PMC) that will replace the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).
Aside from dealing with COVID-19, PMC will also plan for and deal with future widespread outbreaks of contagious diseases in the country.