Senate seeks probe of PH preparedness vs respiratory illnesses | Inquirer News

Senate seeks probe of PH preparedness vs respiratory illnesses

/ 07:19 PM December 06, 2023

STOP POGO OPERATIONS: Majority Leader Joel Villanueva reiterates his call to stop operations of Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs) in the country. During plenary deliberation of the proposed 2024 budget of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and its attached agencies Tuesday, November 14, 2023, Villanueva said that while the number of POGO in the Philippines is declining, POGO-related crimes continue to rise. He cited human trafficking incidences in the cities of Pasay and Paranaque. He said an inter-agency task force was formed by the Senate Committee on Labor in 2019 to monitor the number of foreign nationals engaged in POGO. “We hope that this inter-agency task force is continuing to do its work and we give full support…if there is a need to increase its budget. We are hoping the DOJ and its attached agencies would continue to be active in its work in holding violators accountable,” Villanueva said. (Bibo Nueva Espana/Senate PRIB)

Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva (File photo from the Senate Public Relations and Information Bureau)

MANILA, Philippines — Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva has filed Senate Resolution No. 874 seeking a probe of the government’s preparedness in dealing with a possible global spread of respiratory illnesses.

Villanueva said the emergence of new flu strains or other viruses capable of triggering a pandemic should start by scrutinizing undiagnosed clusters of respiratory illnesses.


He aired his concern following reports of an increase in the incidence of respiratory diseases in China.


“There is a need for the Department of Health (DOH) and other concerned authorities to enforce minimum public health standards and safety protocols to stem the rising number of cases and arrest any possibility of an outbreak,” the resolution reads.

“There is also a need to ensure that there are adequate supplies of medicines and personal protective equipment as well as intensified health information, education, and communication programs on the prevention of communicable respiratory diseases, including vaccination drives against influenza, COVID-19, pneumonia, and other vaccine-preventable respiratory diseases,” it adds.

READ: No outbreak of ‘walking’ pneumonia in PH, says Herbosa

READ: DOH: Pneumonia cases up, better keep mask on

READ: Fighting for breath: Pneumonia continues to kill children worldwide

Villanueva’s resolution directed the appropriate Senate committee to conduct an inquiry, in aid of legislation, on the preparedness of the Philippine government to detect, prevent, minimize, treat, and contain the reported global rise of respiratory illnesses.


Meanwhile, the DOH confirmed on Wednesday four cases of “walking pneumonia” in the Philippines.

“Walking pneumonia” is a mild bacterial infection that resembles a cold. Experts say it usually does not require bed rest or a hospital stay.

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TAGS: Department of Health, Joel Villanueva, respiratory illnesses, walking pneumonia

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