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Consistently poor ranking

Bloomberg’s latest monthly COVID Resilience Ranking placed the Philippines at the bottom of the list of 53 countries for the second month in a row, suffering the ignominy of being the worst among other Southeast Asian countries who were also ranked poorly. Indonesia placed at 48th, Malaysia 50th, Thailand 51st, Vietnam 52nd and the Philippines was dead last at 53rd.

“While other Southeast Asian nations also continue to be ranked low among the 53 economies tracked, the Philippines fares among the worst on vaccine coverage, with just 26 percent of the population covered amid challenges in bringing shots to areas outside of the big cities,” Bloomberg said.

The ranking is based on 12 data points related to virus containment, the economy and opening up.

According to Bloomberg, the Philippines’ ongoing curbs on domestic movement, including a ban on children in malls and public spaces, along with international travel restrictions, continued to drag down the country’s score, “a reflection of the country’s conservative approach to reopening the economy amid concerns about its fragile healthcare system.”

“The capital Manila has allowed more businesses to open their doors again, including gyms and cinemas, but it’s still behind neighbors like Thailand and Indonesia which are back to embracing tourists,” it added.

The decreasing number of new COVID-19 cases was noted as a positive development, as was the significant decline in the percentage of those testing positive from nearly 1 in 3 in September to about 12 percent, indicating the Philippines has a better handle on its outbreak than before and is catching cases.

The country, among the hardest hit by the pandemic in Asia with over 2.7million total cases and 42,384 deaths, has consistently ranked near the bottom of Bloomberg’s COVID index, which government officials said was “unfair.”

Whether our government officials think it is fair or not, our consistently low ranking in international assessments gives us an idea how the country is faring compared to the rest of the world. A country at the bottom of the list should have so much room for improvement so something must be terribly wrong with one that is unable to find the ways, means and resolve to improve its lot. Instead of focusing on how unfair such rankings are, maybe our government should give more attention to what it’s doing wrong and what the better ranked countries are doing better.*

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