From a Filipina mission leader
The Philippines as with many countries around the world, continues to grapple with finding ways of stemming the spread of COVID-19 and salvaging a badly-hit economy. As of Oct 2, there are 56,445 active COVID-19 cases. Eight months after the first COVID-19 case was detected in the country, the Philippines now has a total of 316,678 cases (do note that this includes recoveries) with the number of COVID-19 related deaths at 5,616.
There are many theories as to the high numbers—from poor, cramped neighborhoods that are unable to keep social distancing to the use of inaccurate tests that give people false positives/negatives.
Inefficiency in both national and local level has mired some of the efforts of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to address the pandemic and getting the country to start up on a “new normal.”
On top of this, political entities as well as corrupt officials have leveraged on the pandemic for their own gains, causing more discord and division and also contributing to the sabotaging of the efforts to find effective and far-reaching solutions for both the pandemic and the economy.
The reality of being a developing nation in the South East Asian region means that it already has to deal with so many other problems like natural disasters, terrorism, systemic corruption and other issues to begin with. There is little buffer left for a pandemic like COVID-19 in terms of resources.
The positive reality is that the conditions have developed a resilient people who always manage to bounce back from whatever crisis they are confronted with. These times have also spotlighted heroic efforts by significant personalities in the public and private sectors in dealing with the humanitarian crises brought about by the pandemic.
- The church to be able to demonstrate a Christ-like, united witness amidst all the issues the country currently faces.
- The local and national government to show wisdom, integrity, compassion and foresight as they deal with the pandemic and the economy.
- The Filipino citizenry to be able to set aside whatever divides them and work together with the government and the general populace for the country’s recovery.
 Covid-19 statistics all come from the Department of Health – Philippines.