MANILA — The Philippine government’s National Action Plan (NAP) targets a balance between the management of COVID-19 and the safe reopening of the economy, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said.

During the #AskNEDA Media Briefing on November 22, 2021, NEDA Undersecretary for Policy and Planning Rosemarie G. Edillon presented a scorecard for the National Action Plan Phase IV (NAP4) that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases recently approved.

“We laid out the government’s objectives in this scorecard for the public to have a better understanding of our goals. We remain focused on strengthening our healthcare system and safely reopening the economy,” she said.

According to Edillon, the scorecard allows for a more contextualized evaluation, noting that each country has different COVID-19 experiences and strategies.

The scorecard evaluates the Philippines’ performance in three areas with scores ranging from zero to three: i.) infection management; ii.) vaccine rollout; and iii.) socioeconomic recovery.

For infection management, Edillon explained that the government and the public need to shift their focus to the number of severe and critical cases more than the total number of infections.

The Philippines’ score on infection management improved to 1.44 in October from 1.25 in September due to the decrease in the number of severe and critical cases, reduced time period from detection to isolation, and increased tests per case.

On the vaccine rollout, the country’s score also improved to 1.30 in October from 0.99 in September with the increase in all its indicators encompassing total vaccine doses given, new vaccine doses given, and the number of people who have been fully vaccinated per month.

As of November 23, a total of 77.6 million vaccine doses have been rolled out. Of this, 43.3 million doses were administered as the first dose and 34.2 million were administered as the complete dose. The country also recorded a record high daily jabs of 1.2 million last November 11.

Meanwhile, the score on socioeconomic recovery slightly decreased to 2.10 in October from 2.18 in September, partly due to delayed flight data reporting and weaker demand for global air travel amid spikes in COVID-19 cases in western economies.

In spite of this, Edillon said that, with a strong third-quarter economic growth, the country is still on track to reach its growth targets given improvements in the mobility and manufacturing activity indicators.

“Our year-to-date growth is at 4.9 percent. Now that we have relaxed restrictions in most parts of the country, we expect our socioeconomic recovery index to improve in the coming months,” she said.

Improvements in the government’s scorecard were also reflected in the recently released Nikkei ranking, where the Philippines improved by 18 ranks from 121 in September to 103 in October.

“International indices [such as Nikkei and Bloomberg] are still helpful as they can be used to learn from other countries’ experiences. We will continue monitoring these alongside our scorecard, which puts greater focus on our country-specific context, to craft more responsive policies for our recovery,” she said.

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