‘Step up, don’t get upset,' gov't told after study on poor pandemic response ranking | Inquirer News

‘Step up, don’t get upset,’ gov’t told after study on poor pandemic response ranking

/ 10:38 AM July 01, 2021

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III (NQUIRER FILE PHOTO)

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Risa Hontiveros on Thursday said Health Secretary Francisco Duque III should not be upset with a recent Bloomberg report showing the Philippines’ low ranking in terms of pandemic resiliency since it was his department that has been “dropping the ball” in the country’s pandemic response.

“I think ang dapat talagang ma-piss off ay hindi yung health secretary, pero yung ating mga mamamayan. Sisisihin pa ba natin yung Bloomberg?…Rather than getting mad, we should step up,” Hontiveros said in an interview on ABS-CBN News Channel.


(I think the one who should be pissed off is not the health secretary, but the Filipino people. Should we put the blame on Bloomberg?…Rather than getting mad, we should step up.)


“Hindi naman Bloomberg ang nag-drop ng ball [It’s not Bloomberg that dropped the ball]—I’m sorry—it was the health department under the leadership of the good secretary that has been dropping the ball so far,” she added.

Senator Risa Hontiveros

Sen. Risa Hontiveros (Screen grab/Senate PRIB)

Duque had expressed displeasure over a study by media company Bloomberg, which showed that the Philippines ranked 52nd in a list of 53 countries in terms of COVID-19 pandemic resilience.

“That’s unfair. That’s very unfair and I am really pissed with this kasi hindi naman tama [this is not right],” he said.

Duque said that most of the parameters used in Bloomberg’s COVID Resilience Ranking are “skewed” to a high vaccination rate.

He pointed out that Philippines still does not have enough vaccines to provide its population with protection against COVID-19.

But Hontiveros said Bloomberg’s study was just the “latest reflection of the truth on the ground.”


“Ang talagang nakakabwisit, nakakadismaya sa mga mamamayan is the very poor health response and within that, the poor economic response,” the senator went on.

(What is really frustrating and disappointing for the people is the very poor health response and within that, the poor economic response.)

“Unfair ba yung Bloomberg report? Mas unfair na [Is the Bloomberg report unfair? What is more unfair is that] this health and economic response has been so poor in protecting our people from the worst effects of COVID-19 and of the recession,” she added.

Duque had argued that the country still has low coverage for fully vaccinated individuals as wealthy nations have already secured the bulk of the COVID-19 vaccine supply.

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Meanwhile, the Philippines is faring well in terms of other factors considered in the study, including the number of cases per 100,000 population, and the number of deaths, according to the health chief.


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