The Duterte government “largely failed” to provide for an adequate response to the health crisis brought about by the Covid19 pandemic, according to social scientists from the Jesuit-run Ateneo de Manila University.
“The response of the government is shallow, disorderly and slow. It was not able to address the pandemic as primarily a health problem,” Carmelo Abao, a political science professor, said in a Philippine Star story.
Concrete proof of this, he said, is Malacanang’s blatant preference for retired military generals as pandemic response leaders, in contrast to the practice on virtually all other countries who relied on physicians and health specialists to do this delicate and specialized job.
In a report, Abao, together with sociologist and development studies professor Jaycel Cornelio said that while there were efforts to support those greatly affected by the pandemic, “these were not enough to alleviate the worsening conditions of many Filipinos.”
The two Ateneo professors said that Mr. Duterte, despite his huge popularity, failed to use his political capital to address the basic needs of Filipinos.
In a recent study published by the respected Bloomberg group, the Philippines emerged second-to-last (or 52nd among 53 countries surveyed) in its Covid Resilience Ranking.
Bloomberg looked into the number of people vaccinated in a country, severity of lockdowns and the Covid positivity rate. But Health Sec. Francisco Duque said this was very unfair as the parameters used were skewed to rich nations which have a high vaccination rate.
As of July 5, 2021, the Philippines has recorded 1,441,746 infections and 25,192 deaths.