Press Release
April 30, 2009


Liberal President Senator Mar Roxas today urged the public to stay calm and follow health experts' safety advice amid growing concerns over the swine flu pandemic causing serious health concerns all over the world.

Roxas said the government also must ensure that proper protocols are implemented in all ports of entry in the country as part of efforts to contain the pandemic,

"Huwag tayong mag-panic, kailangang magtulungan tayo upang siguruhing hindi nito maaapektuhan ang ating mga pamilya," he said.

He added: "Marami naman tayong maaaring gawin habang hinihintay natin ang aksyon ng ating pamahalaan. Magkusa tayo, labanan natin ang sakit na ito."

For one, he said, families could follow experts' advice to ensure washing of hands before and after eating, and before and after using the bathroom.

He also said that while the swine flu cannot spread through eating pork, families should properly cook pork as advised by the Department of Health. The virus is said to have originated from a pig virus that jumped to a human and mutated.

"Hugasan nating mabuti ang ating mga baboy bago natin lutuin ang mga ito. At siguraduhin nating lutong-luto ang baboy bago natin kainin ito. Iwasan din natin ang pagyakap at paghalik sa ating mga kasama sa bahay, lalo na kung tayo ay may ubo o sipon nang maiwasan natin ang pagkalat ng kahit anong virus," the Visayan senator said.

Roxas said the government should act immediately to prepare for a possible swine flu pandemic in the country.

He urged President Arroyo and Health Secretary Francisco Duque to begin exploring possible importation agreements with cheap drugs-manufacturing countries, like India, for a new stock of anti-influenza medicines, which could be distributed to all government-run hospitals nationwide.

He noted reports that most of the anti-flu drugs in stock at the Department of Health are nearing expiration or have already expired.

The DOH has said that of the 453,660 anti-flu capsules in its possession, 54% expired in November 2007; 21% will expire in July this year; 2% in August and 6% in November. The remaining 17% will expire in February 2011.

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