MANILA - The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday downplayed an international finance magazine's survey that listed the Philippines on the bottom of the "world's safest countries" in 2021, saying the public should "take this with a grain of salt."
Global Finance earlier said the Philippines ranked last among 134 countries in terms of safety, taking into consideration the war and peace, personal security, and disaster risk situations, including those stemming from COVID-19.
"The other circumstances are uncontrollable like natural disasters. E talagang ganoon. Nandito tayo sa Pilipinas and ang Philippines talaga is prone to natural disasters," Health spokesperson and Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said.
(It's really like that. We are in the Philippines and the Philippines is really prone to natural disasters.)
"Let's take this with a grain of salt. Pag-aralan kung ano ang sinsabi ng datos. Tingnan natin kung bakit kinukumpara tayo sa ibang bansa with different settings and different circumstances," she said in an online press conference.
(Study what the data is saying. Check why we are being compared to other countries with different settings and different circumstances.)
The health spokesperson said it would be better to avoid comparing the Philippines with other countries since other nations were not included in the survey as they declined to submit data to the finance magazine.
"Kailangan lagi tayong maingat when we interpret these surveys pero bukas naman lagi ang gobyerno dito," she said.
(We always have to be careful when interpreting surveys but the government is open to these.)
"'Yung mga punto na nakikita naming accurate naman at rational, we use it to improve kung ano man 'yung ginagawa natin dito," she said.
(Those points that we see are accurate and rational, we use it to improve whatever we are already doing here.)
"Let's focus on what we can do to help our country. Let's focus on the response we are doing here right now," she said.
Video from the Department of Health