By Jennylou Canon

PHOTO: World Health Organization

“The Philippines faces a perfect storm.”

This was how Bloomberg had described the country’s COVID-19 response after ranking last among 53 countries in their COVID-19 Resilience Report for the month of September.

“The Philippines faces a perfect storm in that it’s grappling with the more ferocious delta variant at the same time as it works with an inadequate testing regime and sees disruptions to its economy and people’s livelihoods as the pandemic continues to rage,” Bloomberg said. 

Based on Bloomberg’s 12 data points on COVID-19 containment, the Philippines scored poorly on the metrics of reopening the country’s economy.

The Philippines also had one of the lowest vaccination rates despite having one of the strictest lockdowns, and had the second-worst positive test rate of 27 percent.

Alongside Philippines in the bottom rankings are Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam placing 49th until 52nd respectively.

Meanwhile, Ireland, Spain, Netherlands, Finland, and Denmark placed first to fifth in Bloomberg’s ranking.

However, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that the lack of COVID-19 vaccine supply resulted in the poor ranking of the country’s COVID-19 response.

“Vaccines are key towards defeating COVID -19. Unfortunately, as President Rodrigo Roa Duterte articulated in the United Nations, ‘rich countries hoard life-saving vaccines, while poor nations wait for trickles.’  The Philippines is a classic case in point, where inoculation is highly dependent on the availability and stability of vaccine supplies,” he said.

Roque also stated that the administration was not surprised that developing nations were ranked the lowest and developed nations dominated the list.