MANILA, Philippines – More than 100 days into placing parts of the country into varying levels of lockdown, the Philippine government is still clearly overwhelmed by the coronavirus pandemic. As of Sunday, June 28, the country leads in the rise of virus cases in the entire Western Pacific region, recording an increase of 8,143 in a span of 12 days.
Shortage abounds in the national government’s response. There is still a lack of strategic testing. Contact tracers are short by the tens of thousands. The social relief that the President promised to poor families had not reached all the target beneficiaries.
Over 3 months since the beginning of the pandemic, the same problems persist.
On the ground, the crisis has forced local government units to innovate with the limited resources that they have. Many are struggling in the crushing crisis, but there are those whose leadership shone and dimmed the spotlight on national officials.
In this series, Rappler looks into how these leaders have steered their constituents ahead of the curve; how, in this localities, people continue to do their part to collectively confront the pandemic.