KAPIHAN SA SENADO 6/25/09: On A(H1N1) and Typhoon Feria
Q: Due to confirmed cases of A(H1N1) virus at the House of Representatives, Palace says they are open on possible postponement of the SONA ni PGMA.
Sen. Gordon: Makikita nyo ang cacophony of voices coming out. Sabi ni Jeslie Lapus, wag na kayo mag-cancel ng classes. Ako naman sinabi ko noong isang araw, dapat sana dahil alam natin na nagbakasyon, maraming nagbyahe, marami tayong OFW, inatras muna
natin ng two weeks yung klase bago tayo nag-open. Look at what is happening now, parang nagba-brownout eh, by section. We’ve got to have the Dept. of Health saying if is it wise to close classes.
It is not the call of the Dept. of Education. It’s not the call of Malacanang. It is the call of DOH, consulting the World Health Organization, if it is safe to allow our children to go to school. It cannot be cavalierly said by the Department of Education na parang sore eyes lang yan dahil may namamatay dito eh.
Here is an adult, an employee of the House of Representatives, who did not see a doctor, and because of her weak condition, she died.. So we have to make a decision. Should we cancel classes muna for two weeks? If not, then explain it to the public na kakalat yan, magkakasakit yung ibang mga anak natin, ito lang ang ibibigay nyo, here’s one way to avoid it. Otherwise, dadami ng dadami, may mamamatay, nata-throttle ang sistema. It’s bad for our country because we can’t seem to show the world that we are getting our act together. Yung tourism mo magsa-suffer.
The government must get its act together because yung mga nagpa-planong bumisita rito hindi bibisita. Not just the tourists but businessmen. We have to tell our people kung ano talaga ang kailangang gawin.
The Dept. of Health must issue a statement to say pwedeng pumasok, no problem, you’re safe. On the other hand, if we were hit by something more serious than this, like SARS, it would appear that the variants of statements being made will clearly show that the country is not ready to cope with a pandemic. Now it is good that the problem has not presented itself yet. This is practice. I hope Dr. Lapus is correct, even he is pretending to be a doctor.
Kung ang tumama sa atin ay avian flu, a lot of people will die. We have to make known to the public, ano ang plan natin. Ang sinasabi ko subukan na natin ngayon. Kung isu-suspend natin ang klase, dapat ang schools may plan sila na pwedeng ipadala yung mga lesson plan sa bahay, by government television stations, or by delivery, or what have you. Home school or home study. We should have taken our cue from Shanghai and from Hong Kong. Sa Shanghai, ultimo yung mayor ng New Orleans na-quarantine, dahil merong maysakit sa eroplano. That is why I’m saying, nagkukulang ang Dept. of Health. Maganda dapat umiikot sila.. The point is, you have to make strong decisions right away.
I don’t think swine flu at the moment is serious, unless mahina ang constitution nung taong tinamaan at hindi siya nagpatingin sa dalubhasang doktor. There are already flu shots available. Dapat ipasok natin ngayon yung contingency plan. Let’s find out if we can make it happen. Let’s learn from it right now, rather than learn as we die. Low level ang disease na ito, hindi masyadong matindi. Pero para makalma ang tao, hindi magpa-panic, pina-practice na natin kung sakaling mas masidhi ang mangyayari.
Q: Eh kung ma-quarantine yung magso-SONA? Dapat ban a ma-quarantine?
Sen. Gordon: Kung galing siya sa isang lugar na may mga cases, o yung eroplano na sinakyan nya ay merong may H1N1, maka-quarantine siya. She is not above the law. That’s why I cited the case of the New Orleans mayor. That mayor could not get out to China, she was not allowed to get out.
ON TYPHOON FERIA
Q: Meron bang mga naipa-abot na tulong ang Red Cross sa mga nasalanta ng bagyong Feria?
Sen. Gordon: Yes. Right now our people are on the ground. We tried to help those who were stranded, pero nag-uwian agad. Maraming na-stranded sa mga ports eh. Sa Samar we gave food. Sa Cavite we gave food tsaka inaruga namin yung mga nasaktan doon.
Mass feeding for 168 families in five evacuation centers in Western Samar. In Cavite, mass feeding of 50 families in five evacuation centers. All chapters have been activated, yung 143 volunteers namin nagko-conduct ng assessment at first aid. Meron mga namatay pero not really typhoon-related, nasasama lang sa reports.