Since the onset of the COVID-19  pandemic, most of us have developed a new habit:  checking disease monitoring dashboards every day. While the statistics on viral infection rates, deaths, and recoveries grab the headlines, there are other critical data points that exist right under our noses which could help us better understand the spread and impact of COVID-19. For example, data from telecommunications companies may help us understand the relationship between mobility, population density, and viral infection rates; while pharmaceutical sales can indicate possible spikes in infection rates before the official results come in - a particularly useful strategy in areas wherein testing is not extensive. There is so much data out there. We only have to open our eyes to it.
With the decision made in the very early morning of 18 August to revert to the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) in Metro Manila, we are again seeing social media light up with polarized views on whether we should prioritize the health of citizens or the health of the economy. Presented as a binary choice and wrapped in understandable emotion, it represents a conundrum of considerable significance to policy makers. It may take more than the wisdom of Solomon to balance the legitimate concerns of exhausted health workers and those who are seeing their livelihoods vanish before their eyes. But need it be so? Can more rigorous analysis of at least the key numbers underlining an issue of such importance help make an informed decision?
UNDP Philippines' Adaptable Digitally-Enabled Post-Crisis Transformation (ADEPT) Project supports the Philippine government in rolling out a transparent and reliable end-to-end digital solution for household cash transfers for national government agencies and local government units. ADEPT aims to reach more people and encourage contactless transactions in these trying times. In collaboration with the City of Pasig, we rolled out ADEPT in Pasig by providing vulnerable citizens digital wallets and implementing financial literacy programs during the lockdown.
he Philippines and 35 other countries officially launched #TogetherforTamaraws, an online fundraising campaign to help conservation frontliners affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This campaign is led by the Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN) project in the Philippines with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) through its MIMAROPA Regional Office, plus the Biodiversity Management Bureau.
The Coronavirus Disease 19 (COVID-19) pandemic and the economic shutdown that it triggered could worsen poverty in the Philippines. A new report--#TawidCovid: A Pulse on Poverty through Application of Citizen-Centered Innovation--outlines the importance of an inclusive and timely response as it presents evidence on the detrimental impacts of the pandemic on the livelihood and income of the poor and vulnerable.
Cotabao City - The Joint Peace and Security Teams (JPST) in Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) received three-month worth of rice provision from the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process (OPAPP) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). A total of 144 sacks of rice were distributed to 180 members of JPST deployed in conflict-affected areas in Mindanao.
An illegal fisher for almost half his life, Bok is now part of the global movement calling on world leaders to protect 30% of our blue planet by 2030.

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About the Philippines

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109 million (2019)


20.8% (2019)

Poverty rate

US$ 9,400

GNI per capita

0.712 (2019)

Human Dev. Index

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