Emergency, help...
Emergency, help...
SEARCH FOR TRUTH - Ernesto M. Maceda () - August 25, 2011 - 12:00am

The number of deaths from dengue has reached 270, 78 of them in Metro Manila from poor families. That’s much more than any destructive typhoon.

Already hit by dengue are Ilocos Sur, Ilocos Norte, La Union, Pangasinan, Bulacan, Bataan, Pampanga, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Rizal, Aklan, Iloilo, General Santos City, Isabela, Albay and the 16 cities of Metro Manila.

When a big typhoon hits the country, the President, the Department of National Defense, DSWD, Department of Health, Department of Agriculture, DPWH, DILG and all other agencies take action to deal with the situation.

In that context, we deplore the business as usual attitude of the Administration in handling this dengue problem. The Department of Health is even tooting its horn by claiming there are only 45,333 cases of dengue so far, 33 percent lower compared to last year. That is too many and still unacceptable.

The tragedy here is that many of the deaths, 70 percent of them young kids could have been minimized.

It is sad to note that a crying father confessed that he brought his dead child to a hospital five days late because he had no money for transportation. It is very disturbing to see hospitals overcrowded to a point where four patients share a bed.

It is hard to understand why we are running out of blood and platelets. It is pitiful to watch local governments scrambling to defogging their communities after three years.

This is a deadly national emergency. The President must treat it more urgently than a typhoon Ondoy. The business community must respond more concretely. The Philippine Medical Association and the Philippine Nurses Association must come in to volunteer help to overworked government doctors and nurses.

Among those emergency measures that can be done:

1. The President as Commander in Chief must order the 130,000 AFP soldiers and 120,000 PNP policemen to donate blood. Locally, the 500,000 teachers can also be tapped to donate blood.

2. The President can also order that Army trucks and if necessary PAF helicopters be used to deliver blood in shortage areas like Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte.

3. The business community, especially the ultra rich Makati Business Club and FCCCI should donate dextrose, medicines and even mosquito traps, beds and cots and deliver them directly to the 40 provincial and municipal spots hit by dengue.

4. The DOH, DILG and Office of the President must print thousands more of brochures and charts needed for the educational campaign. Corporations with big duplicating machines can help, too.

5. ABS-CBN, GMA-7, TV5 and all radio stations must devote more time to help educate listeners on dengue prevention.

6. Field hospitals and emergency wards must be set up in auditoriums and gyms near hospitals. Military doctors and nurses can help staff them together with PMA and PNPA volunteers.

7. The President should visit the hospital wards like QMMC, PGH and JRRMMC to show his concern and the DSWD must release immediate cash assistance to the poor patients who need money for medicines, food and even transportation.

It is correct to say that many of the 270 deaths this year and 465 last year could have been prevented. Let us act now to prevent more deaths. That transcends all other programs of government.

* * *

14 RESIGNATIONS. . . LTFRB Chairman Nelson Laluces, Board Member Manuel Iway, Executive Director Dante Atienza and another official have resigned. Laluces is a classmate of Executive Secretary Jojo Ochoa Jr. at the Ateneo Law School. His renewal of a long expired BLTB franchise has been questioned.

Previous resignations have been 1) DOT Sec. Alberto Lim; 2) DOTC Sec. Jose de Jesus; 3) Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Jose Amorado; 4) Malacañang Legal Adviser Magdangal Elma; 5) DOTC Usec for Land Transportation and spokesman Dante Velasco. 6) DOTC Usec for Legal Aristotle Batuhan; 7) Usec for Planning Ruben Reinoso; 8) Usec for Metro Rail Transit Glicerio Sicat; 9) Malacañang Asec Reginald Tongol; and 10) Bureau of Corrections Director Ernesto Diokno.

* * *

NO JUSTICE YET. . . Just as there has been no justice for Ninoy, the Luneta Hostage victims, eight dead and 14 wounded have yet to be accorded justice. None of the 11 officials headed by Usec Rico Puno and Generals Leocadio Santiago and Rodolfo Magtibay have been jailed. Worst, the promised compensation has not been paid. Adding salt to the wounds, President Aquino refused to meet with the victims and the arrogant Sec. Edwin Lacierda accused Hong Kong politicians of using the victims for political advantage.

* * *

COMPLAINT SECTION. . . Several Chinese Filipinos have complained that DFA is subjecting passport applicants with foreign sounding names to an indepth investigation by a special legal team, causing undue delay in the issuance of passports.

* * *

DENGUE IN RIZAL. . . Gov. Jun Ynares reports that they now have 1,827 cases of dengue in Rizal with 19 deaths, most of them young kids. He has stepped up the information drive, the community cleanup of neighbors and conducted a province-wide blood letting campaign.

Gov. Ynares is one of a group of young Governors that are doing well including Laguna Gov. E.R. Ejercito, Pampanga Gov. Lilia Pineda and Albay Gov. Joey Salceda.

* * *

TIDBITS. . . Former Congressman Ruffy Biazon (LP, Muntinlupa) and senatorial candidate is slated to replace Angelito Alvarez as Commissioner of Customs.

The Toyota Fortuner of SSS President Emilio de Quiroz was carjacked in Barangay Pinyahan, Quezon City. It was found abandoned later in Calumpit, Bulacan.

Broadcaster Neil “Lito” Jimena, 42, was shot dead by two motorcycle riding gunmen at Barangay 3, E.B. Magalona town.

Errata — in our last column, the name Noy Buzuela should have been Noy Brizuela and the name Len Ortega should be Len Oreta, P-Noy’s uncle.

ALBERTO LIM ANGELITO ALVAREZ ASEC REGINALD TONGOL ATENEO LAW SCHOOL BARANGAY PINYAHAN DENGUE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH METRO MANILA PRESIDENT USEC
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