COVID-19 is Philippines’ 3rd leading cause of death – PSA

Ralf Rivas
COVID-19 is Philippines’ 3rd leading cause of death – PSA

PANDEMIC. Public health workers in Cagayan de Oro City.

Aicy Soriano, Cagayan de Oro City Information Office

Philippine Statistics Authority and Department of Health figures on COVID-19 deaths do not match
COVID-19 is Philippines’ 3rd leading cause of death – PSA

MANILA, Philippines – COVID-19 is the third leading cause of death in the Philippines, based on preliminary data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). But figures show a discrepancy between those written on death certificates and those reported by the Department of Health (DOH).

PSA figures showed a total of 75,285 deaths were due to COVID-19 from January to October 2021, representing 12.5% of the total registered deaths during the period. 

For 2020, the PSA registered 27,967 deaths due to the coronavirus or 4.9% of the total registered deaths during the entire year.

That would mean at least 103,252 pandemic-related deaths, based on PSA data.

The figure differs compared to that of the DOH, which has recorded 52,929 pandemic-related deaths as of Monday, January 17.

The PSA noted the discrepancy, explaining that its figures were obtained from descriptions written on death certificates. The DOH figures were obtained through a surveillance system.

PSA figures also refer to confirmed, probable, and clinically-epidemiologically diagnosed cases of COVID-19. 

Deaths categorized as “COVID-19 virus identified” totaled 51,514, while “COVID-19 with virus not identified” cases accounted for 23,771 deaths from January to October 2021.

Regions, cities

The National Capital Region (NCR) posted the highest number of deaths due to the virus, with 18,044 or 24% of the total COVID-19 deaths from January to October. Calabarzon ranked second with 16,630 deaths, while Central Luzon came in third with 14,252 deaths.

In NCR, Quezon City had the highest number of deaths due to COVID-19, with 3,955 deaths or 21.9% of the total COVID-19 deaths in the region, followed by the City of Manila and Pasig City with 2,558 and 1,832 deaths, respectively.

The leading causes of death in the country were ischemic heart diseases or heart problems caused by narrowed heart arteries, and cerebrovascular diseases, or deaths caused by a blood flow issue in the blood vessels in the brain.

During the first 10 months of 2021, ischemic heart diseases were the top cause of death, with 110,332 cases or 18.3% of the total deaths in the country. This indicated an increase of about 28% from the 86,164 deaths or 16.9% of the total deaths in the same period in 2020. 

Cerebrovascular diseases came in second with 58,880 deaths, a 10.9% increase from the same period in 2020.

Neoplasms or cancer ranked as the fourth leading cause of death with 48,937 recorded cases, while deaths due to diabetes mellitus ranked fifth with 38,584 cases. –

Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.