We take note of Bloomberg’s latest COVID-19 Resilience Ranking report, which is based on indicators such as quality of healthcare, vaccination coverage, severity of lockdowns and restrictions, progress on restarting travel and easing border curbs, among others.
We are not surprised that the Philippines, together with other Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam are at the bottom of the list while countries which topped the list are developed countries such as Ireland, Spain, Netherlands, Finland and Denmark.
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.
Having said this, the Philippines, in many numerous occasions, has advanced its position on the universal access to COVID-19 vaccines, for the plain fact that the pandemic will not end unless the coronavirus is defeated everywhere through vaccination.
In addition, this resilience ranking is in line with the notion of total health, which we personally advocated, where the re-opening of more industries and businesses allowing more people to return to their livelihood must be balanced with improving the country’s healthcare system capacity.