A study prepared by Sydney-based think tank Lowly Institute ranked the Philippines a pathetic 79th out of 98 countries in terms of coronavirus response.
Ninety-eight countries were reviewed for their “average performance” over time in managing the Covid-19 pandemic, using data, as of January 9. The countries were studied 36 weeks following their hundredth confirmed case of Covid-19. The Philippines’ score of 30.6 percent placed it at 79th place, squarely behind its Southeast Asian neighbors that fared much better.
The performances were measured based on confirmed cases, confirmed deaths, confirmed cases per million people, confirmed deaths per million people, confirmed cases as a proportion of tests and tests per thousand people.
The study put Vietnam at second place overall with a score of 90.8 percent and Thailand 4th with 84.2 percent. Singapore ranked 13 with 74.9 percent, Malaysia 16th with 71 percent, and even Myanmar made it to the 24th with 62.3 percent.
As usual, our Department of Health had convenient excuses for the country’s embarrassing ranking, underscoring that the Covid-19 pandemic is “very dynamic, and the capture of proper context is crucial in assessing the performance of a country.”
It noted “usual issues in any measurement across different contexts include the difficulties in choosing what components should be measured, which indicator best represents that component, transforming and comparing data from different sources/definitions/interpretations across countries.”
It added that there are “very unique environmental or historical influences that affect overall performance” of a country.
At this point in time, it is already well established that the Philippines response to the pandemic is nothing special, especially if compared to other nations led by more competent government officials. The superfluous excuses for a very poor rating of its pandemic response is already expected, but what Filipinos are hoping for is that beyond the flowery words and confusing terminologies, our government is using these third-party evaluations of its performance to figure out where we went so wrong and how we can still make corrections to improve our pandemic response which obviously needs improvement when compared to how our regional neighbors fared.*