Bloomberg has said the Philippines remains the worst place to be during the COVID-19 pandemic despite the dramatic decrease in cases and an intensified vaccination drive.
Based on Bloomberg's COVID Resilience Ranking for November released Tuesday, the Philippines was again at the bottom of a list of 53 countries, having a resilience score of 43.1.
This means the Philippines did not move from its 53rd spot in Bloomberg's October ranking when it had a resilience score of 40.5.
Reacting to the report, Malacañang said the government would evaluate and craft new policies to address COVID-19-related challenges that were “more responsive” to the needs of Filipinos.
“Our economic team will continue to put a greater emphasis on our country-specific conditions or context in order to craft policies that are more responsive to our people’s needs and the requisites of economic recovery,” Cabinet Secretary and acting palace spokesman Karlo Nograles said in a press statement.
“We acknowledge that the data provided by Bloomberg in its COVID-19 Resilience Ranking may be useful in evaluating our pandemic response. The indicators used by Bloomberg include reopening progress, COVID-19 status, and quality of life,” Nograles said.
“However, we have to consider that the 53 countries in the report have different COVID-19 experiences and strategies. There is little consideration for country-specific COVID-19 context, which in our view is imperative to objectively assess how countries manage pandemic response,” he said.
“A case in point is the importance given by Bloomberg in reopening progress, which involves lockdown severity, flight capacity, and vaccinated travel routes,” he added.
Bloomberg, in its report, said: "Southeast Asia continues to populate the bottom of the Ranking, with the Philippines remaining in last place, followed by Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia."
"The lowest two places on the Ranking have given out less than 100 COVID shots per 100 people, a key barrier to improving their scores," it added.
According to a report, the Philippines has only given out 73.2 doses per 100 people.
Nograles reiterated the government’s goal of striking a balance between the management of COVID-19 and the safe reopening of the economy to protect lives and secure livelihoods.
He noted that the Philippine economy grew 7.1 percent in the third quarter, “exceeding all estimates in a Bloomberg survey and cementing its position as one of the fastest-expanding [economy] in the world.”
He said active cases continued to fall with 425 active cases as of Nov. 30, 2021––the lowest reported in 2021 while the country’s latest positivity rate of 2.1 percent is one of the lowest since testing data became available in April 2020.
He said the country’s 1.71 percent case fatality rate remained one of the lowest, with the Philippines ranked 84th in the world by Johns Hopkins University.
“There is no overcrowding in hospitals, with metrics of hospital care utilization rate registering all below 30 percent as of Nov. 30, 2021 and that the country placed fifth highest in single-day vaccination rates worldwide, with 2.5 million doses administered on Monday, during the first day of the country’s three-day vaccination drive, 'Bayanihan, Bakunahan' program,” Nograles added.