Gov't urged to be 'competitive' after penultimate finish in COVID-19 resilience study

Gillan Ropero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 04 2021 11:07 AM | Updated as of Jul 04 2021 11:19 AM

Gov't urged to be 'competitive' after penultimate finish in COVID-19 resilience study 1
Protesters from a worker’s group hold a rally at the Boy Scout Circle on Tomas Morato St., in Quezon City on June 28, 2021 to press the government to extend the Bayanihan 2 Act and pass the Bayanihan 3 Bill that will provide assistance to those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Vice President Leni Robredo said Sunday government should consider the recent COVID-19 resilience study, where the country placed second to last, in assessing its pandemic response.

The Philippines ranked 52nd among 53 countries in Bloomberg’s COVID Resilience Ranking published last week. The index took into consideration the number of people who have been vaccinated in a country, severity of lockdowns, and COVID-19 positivity rate, among others. 

Health Secretary Francisco Duque had said the ranking was "very unfair" and used parameters that were "skewed" to countries with a high vaccination rate.

The Vice President, however, urged the administration to be "competitive."

"'Pag nakakatanggap tayo ng study na ganito, mag-assess tayo, saan ba ang problema natin? Saan ba ang kulang natin? Sobrang satisfied na kasi tayo sa ginagawa natin, kaya hindi tayo nage-exert ng effort na humusay eh," she said in her weekly radio show.

(When we receive a study like this, let's assess our problems. Where do we lack? We're so satisfied with our programs that we don't exert effort to excel.)

"Kung competitive tayo, ayaw natin maunahan. Dapat sana, competitive lagi kasi yun naman ang nakakahila (pataas)."

(If we're competitive, we don't want to get left behind. I hope we're competitive because that's what brings us upward.)

Robredo said the Office of the Vice President has a goal each year such as retaining its ISO certification and the Commission on Audit's "unqualified opinion," its highest rating.

"Kung wala kasi tayong goal, kuntento na tayo kung nasaan tayo ngayon. Ang problema, 'pag di natin hinusayan, ang daming mamamatay sa sakit. Ang nakakalungkot pa, kung may mamatay sa gutom dahil hindi natin naaayos," she said.

(If we don't have a goal, it means we're content on where we are. The problem is if we don't do a good job, many will die because of the illness and it would be even more saddening if people die because of hunger.)

The Vice President lamented that billions of pesos from the Bayanihan 2 funds were unused as the measure expired on June 30.

"'Pag nakita mo yung ganito kalaking pera na 'di pinahalagahan, 'di nagastos, sayang kasi ang daming magbe-benefit sana," she said.

(When you see this big amount of unused funds, it's regrettable, many could have benefitted from it.)

The Philippines has recorded a total of 1,430,419 confirmed COVID-19 cases, as of Saturday, including 25,063 deaths and 53,665 active infections.

A total of 2,727,442 individuals have been fully vaccinated in the country, accounting for 4.7 percent of the minimum 58 million this year to achieve herd immunity.

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