Bloomberg’s Phl Covid ranking ‘unfair’

Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said the 12 data points used by Bloomberg have put the Philippines and other Southeast Asian nations at a disadvantage

October 29, 2021

The government did not take sitting down the Philippines being tagged by media, financial and data company Bloomberg as the “worst to place to be” in during the pandemic.

Bloomberg, for the second time, ranked the Philippines last among 53 countries in its latest international Covid-19 report that measured the responses to the coronavirus pandemic of governments in terms of economic reopening and virus containment strategies.

Scoring 40.5 in the metrics employed by the company known for its financial news service, the country rebuffed Bloomberg for its report that was tagged “unfair” and “biased towards Western countries.”

Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said the 12 data points used by Bloomberg have put the Philippines and other Southeast Asian nations at a disadvantage.

“We feel the Bloomberg resilience data is practically unfair to our country. Number one, it doesn’t cover all countries,” he said in a television interview.

“It’s unfair to characterize our country as the lowest because we’re not the lowest in the world. We’re just the lowest among those countries surveyed by Bloomberg,” he added.

Malaya also noted that the country is seeing a decline in Covid-19 cases and an increase in the number of people already vaccinated against coronavirus.

The Philippines tallied record-breaking numbers of new cases in August, but infections dropped over the past weeks. With a steady vaccine supply, the government also expanded its inoculation efforts, which now covers adolescents aged 12 to 17.

“I would expect an improvement in the ranking by next month,” Malaya said.

In its report, Bloomberg noted that while the outbreak in Southeast Asia may have peaked and vaccination has improved, many of the region’s nations are “still reeling” from the surge caused by the Covid-19 Delta variant.

Southeast Asian nations occupied the bottom rungs of the ranking: Indonesia (48th), Malaysia (50th), Thailand (51st), and Vietnam (52nd).

European nations dominated the ranking, with Ireland remaining the “best place” to be in the pandemic, with a resiliency score of 75.1 or nearly twice that of the Philippines.

Bloomberg said consistently high-ranked economies have a wide degree of government trust and societal compliance.

It added that countries performing well have invested in public health infrastructure, including systems for contact tracing, effective testing, and health education.

Malacañang has yet to comment on the latest Bloomberg report at press time. In September — when Bloomberg also ranked the Philippines at the bottom of its resiliency list — the Palace attributed the country’s poor pandemic performance to challenges in its inoculation efforts.

At the time, presidential spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque said rich nations hoard Covid-19 vaccines and supposedly deprive other countries of the life-saving jabs.

The Philippines has so far confirmed 2.76 million coronavirus infections, in which over 50,000 cases remain active.