A Philippine lawmaker attributed the Philippines’ poor ranking in a COVID resilience index to the poor pandemic response of the government and not the inequitable distribution of vaccines across the globe contrary to the the country's health chief claims.
This was Senator Risa Hontiveros reaction Thrusday (July 1) to the latest Bloomberg COVID Resilience Ranking that placed the Philippines 52nd out of 53 countries with a score of 45.3, only ahead of Argentina with 37.
“I think ang dapat talagang ma-piss off ay hindi 'yung Health secretary, pero 'yung ating mga mamamayan (I think, it is not the Health secretary who should be pissed off, but our countrymen), not with the Bloomberg report because it’s just the latest reflection of the truth on the ground,” the senator said in an ANC interview.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III contested the Bloomberg’s study that ranked the Philippines second to the last in terms of COVID-19 pandemic resilience.
“India, the Philippines, and some Latin America countries rank lowest amid a perfect storm of variant-driven outbreaks, slow vaccination, and global isolation,” Bloomberg reported.
“That’s unfair. That’s very unfair and I am really pissed with this kasi hindi naman tama [this is not right],” the health secretary said.
Duque said that most of the parameters used in Bloomberg’s COVID Resilience Ranking are “skewed,” pointing out that the Philippines still does not have enough vaccines to protect its population against COVID-19.
Hontiveros argued that Duque should not have been offended by Bloomberg’s study because his department has been "dropping the ball" in the country's pandemic response.
Hontiveros pointed out that apart from the poor health response, the government also failed in its economic response to the pandemic. “Ang talagang nakaka-buwisit, nakakadismaya sa mga mamamayan (What is really annoying for the public) is the very poor health response and within that, the poor economic response,” she said.
Ana Catalina Paje is a development journalist passionate about grassroots communication geared towards genuine social change. She also writes about showbiz, lifestyle, and all things Pinoy pride. The views expressed are her own.
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