MANILA — Malacañang on Thursday contested the Philippines' low ranking in a resilience index by top international financial news source Bloomberg, some 8 months into varying degrees of lockdown in the country that has robbed millions of their job and lashed the economy.
The Philippines ranked 46th out of 53 countries who were rated for success in containing the virus with the least amount of social and economic disruption, based on the Bloomberg report that marked the first year since the novel coronavirus' emergence.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque admitted that he had yet to read the report in full. Still, he said: "Tingin ko parang hindi accurate iyan sa aktuwal na nangyari."
(I think that is not accurate with the actual situation.)
"Bagama't number 22 na tayo sa buong mundo, hindi naman po tayo nasa absolute top ng in terms of numbers. Bukod po d'yan maliit po ang ating death, mortality rate, at maliit din po iyong mga nagkakasakit ng malala at kritikal," he told reporters.
(Even through we are 22nd in the whole world, we are not at the absolute top in terms of the number of cases. Aside from that, our death, mortality rate is small, and the number of those who are severely, critically sick is small.)
"Pinaninindigan po natin (we maintain) that we have managed COVID-19 very well," he added.
The Philippines for weeks had topped COVID-19 cases in Southeast Asia.
The COVID-19 situation among countries cannot be compared because their spatial and demographic conditions are different, said National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr.
The Philippines's health care system is also "fragmented," with the responsibility primarily shouldered by local governments since the '90s, he said.
"Kahit sino pong bansa ang mayroong ganitong fragmented health care system ay hindi po talaga kayang magkaroon po ng tinatawag na concerted action against COVID-19," Galvez said.
(No country with this fragmented healthcare system can produce a concerted action against COVID-19.)
"Pero nakaya po natin kahit napaka-virulent ng virus na pumasok natin ay na-manage natin," he added.
(But we did it even though the virus that entered the country is very virulent, we managed it.)
The Philippines has recorded over 420,000 cases of COVID-19 roughly a year since the virus first emerged in China.