Palace downplays low PH ranking in Covid-19 resilience study

By Azer Parrocha

June 30, 2021, 12:41 pm

<p><em>(PNA photo by Avito C. Dalan)</em></p>

(PNA photo by Avito C. Dalan)

MANILA – Malacañang on Wednesday stressed anew the importance of considering the “total health” of the nation, admitting that the Covid-19 pandemic is taking a heavy economic toll on the country.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this remark as he downplayed a Bloomberg report ranking the Philippines as 52nd among 53 economies in terms of Covid-19 response.

The Philippines obtained a score of 45.3, ahead of Argentina that ranked last on the list with a score of 37, the report showed.

Despite the Philippines’ low ranking, Roque expressed confidence that the country would be able to recover from the effects of the pandemic on the economy.

“Hindi natin makakailala na malaki ang naging epekto ng pandemiya sa ating ekonomiya. Pero ang ating economic team naman ay kampante na tayo po ay unti unti nang bumabangon at tuluyang makakabangon (We cannot deny the effect of the pandemic in our economy. But our economic team is confident that we are slowly recovering and that we will recover eventually),” he said in a press briefing in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.

He said the national government’s economic managers are doing everything they can to ensure a delicate balance between health and economy.

“Ulitin lang po natin ang atin choice ngayon ay hindi (I just want to reiterate that our choice now is not) between health and the economy. It is about total health. Ang ating mga polisiya ngayon ay talagang ini-ensure na hindi lang mapapababa ang numero ng Covid kung hindi maiiwasan din po ang pagkagutom sa hanay ng ating kababayan (Our policy now is to ensure that we not only lower Covid numbers but also prevent hunger among our people),” he added.

Bloomberg’s Covid Resilience Ranking showed that the Philippines, India, and some Latin American countries rank lowest “amid a perfect storm of variant-driven outbreaks, slow vaccination, and global isolation.”

According to the ranking, the 10 countries with the lowest resilience scores are Argentina (37), the Philippines (45.3), Malaysia (46.6), India (47.7), Indonesia (48.2), Colombia (48.6), Pakistan (50.7), Bangladesh (51.3), Peru (51.4), and Taiwan (52.1).

The 10 countries with the highest resilience scores are the United States of America (76), New Zealand (73.7), Switzerland (72.9), Israel (72.9), France (72.8), Spain (72), Australia (70.1), Mainland China (69.9), United Kingdom (68.7), and South Korea (68.6).

Bloomberg built its Covid Resilience Ranking on 12 indicators namely people covered by vaccines; lockdown severity; flight capacity; vaccinated travel routes; 1-month cases per 100,000; 1-month fatality rate; total deaths per 1 million.

Positive test rate; community mobility; 2021 gross domestic product growth forecast; universal healthcare coverage; and human development index are also listed as indicators. (PNA)