Briones: Comparisons

On the go

LET’S sit down for a minute and conduct a reality check, shall we? After all, it’s a Sunday. What else is there to do? The faithful can’t go to church and the rest can’t go to the malls, so indulge me.

Let’s start with the Philippines’ population, which currently stands at 110 million. Thereabouts.

With a penchant for breeding like rabbits, the population continues to grow at a staggering rate, although “balloon” may be a more apt description.

Don’t expect any slowdown either. The government did order many of its citizens to stay indoors for the last three months.

Also, we’re not a rich country, but we’re not dirt poor. We may consider ourselves lower middle class or upper lower class. It all depends on how you look at water when it fills 50 percent of a glass.

According to the World Bank, the country’s per capita income was US$3,485, or P172,445, in 2019. That’s roughly around P14,000 a month.

I’m sure many of you are shaking your head because you earn twice or triple or even quadruple that amount. And if you do, well good for you, but you should count yourselves very lucky indeed because there are many out there who earn less. Way less, in fact.

So where am I going with this?

Many people have been criticizing the Philippine government for the way it has dealt with the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

But bear in mind, the country’s population and the size of its economy, which, by the way, has been greatly affected by the lockdowns imposed in major urban areas. This means the government can only do so much to address the problem, considering its limited resources.

The Department of Health reported that the number of Covid-19 cases nationwide exceeded 52,000 on Friday, July 10, 2020. The death toll also hit 1,360.

Now let’s look at Uncle Sam’s figures.

The United States of America has a population of around 331 million, roughly three times its little brown brother.

According to the World Bank, the per capita income of the US is $65,280, or P3.264 million, in 2019. That’s P272,000 a month.

And how is it faring during this global health crisis?

The Johns Hopkins University says the US “currently leads the world in both confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths.”

As of last count, it had 3.17 million Covid cases with 134,000 deaths.

So where does Cebu City come into this? It doesn’t.

I just want you all to look at the figures. Because if you look closely enough, you might arrive at the same conclusion I did that maybe, just maybe, despite the odds against it, the Philippines government, with the help of the private sector, has done a decent job of containing a highly infectious disease.


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