The national government will be crafting policies to address Covid-19-related challenges that are “more responsive” to the needs of Filipinos, Malacañang said on Wednesday.
Acting Presidential Spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles made this remark after the Bloomberg Covid-19 Resilience Ranking for November showed that the Philippines remains at the bottom of a list of 53 countries.
“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,” Nograles said in a press statement.
He acknowledged that data provided by Bloomberg may be “useful” in evaluating the pandemic response, but pointed out 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 managed pandemic response,” he added.
Nograles said the Bloomberg report gave importance to “reopening progress, which involves lockdown severity, flight capacity, and vaccinated travel routes”.
He, however, 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.
“The evidence shows that the Alert Level system and the granular lockdowns that we implemented in November 2021 are some of the key interventions that have enabled us to effectively manage Covid -19 risks while providing for an environment conducive to economic growth,” he said.
Nograles 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.”
Citing government data, he said active cases continue 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 remains one of the lowest, with the Philippines ranked 84th in the world by Johns Hopkins University.
He also said 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.
In Bloomberg’s Covid Resilience Ranking for November, the Philippines remains as the worst place to be during the Covid-19 pandemic, despite having a resilience score of 43.1 or higher than 40.5 registered in October.
“Southeast Asia continues to populate the bottom of the Ranking, with the Philippines remaining in last place, followed by Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia,” the report read.
The United Arab Emirates was deemed the “best place” to live during the pandemic with a resilience score at 73.2, followed by Chile (72.6), Finland (71.3), Ireland (71.2), and Spain (70.9). (PNA)