GDP growth, positivity rate show COVID response ‘effective’: NTF

MANILA – The Philippine economy’s third-quarter performance and the below five percent positivity rate in Covid-19 cases show that the government’s pandemic response is effective, a ranking government official said Wednesday.

Nag-expand po ang ating GDP to 7.1 percent at ang positivity rate natin is below 5 percent so sa pamamagitan nito nakikita natin na ang pandemic response po ay tama (Our GDP expanded to 7.1 percent and our positivity rate is below 5 percent and through this, we can see that the pandemic response is correct),” Assistant Secretary Wilben Mayor, head of the strategic communications on current operations of the National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19, said in an interview Wednesday night.

“[Although] it’s gradual response but again nakikita natin na mayroong pagbabago at papunta tayo sa maayos na sitwasyon lalong lalo na itong Pasko (we see change happening and that we are headed to a favorable situation, especially with the looming holiday),” he added.

Mayor enjoined local government units to ramp up their vaccination rollout and find more “innovative ways” to encourage their constituents to get the life-saving shots.

Even with less than two months left before the year ends, the official is confident that the country would still reach its target to vaccinate 50 percent of the population.

Mayor said the government is currently preparing for the massive vaccination drive from November 29 to December 1, which is expected to administer about 15 million doses of vaccine in a span of three days.

He also cited the steady supply of vaccines in the country, which are expected to further balloon by more than 15 million with the scheduled deliveries this month.

On Wednesday night, Mayor together with NTF special medical adviser Dr. Ted Herbosa and Health Undersecretary Ma. Carolina Vidal-Taiño welcomed the arrival of some 866,970 doses of government-procured Pfizer shots at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

The latest NTF data showed that the country has so far secured over 118 million doses of jabs since the first vaccine shipment landed in Manila last February.

Of this number, a total of 65,764,376 have already been administered, translating to more than 35 million people vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2. (PNA)