Press Release
July 4, 2009

Gordon: Use A(H1N1) experience to create pandemic continuity plan

Senator Richard J. Gordon (Ind.) today reiterated his proposal to develop pandemic continuity programs for both government and private sectors to ensure that the whole nation is well-prepared and protected if and when deadlier diseases hit the country.

Gordon made the statement after an employee of the Senate tested positive for the Influenza A(H1N1) virus.

"We now have a confirmed case of A(H1N1) in the Senate. There are also confirmed cases in Congress, in the Philippine Navy and even in the PNPA (Philippine National Police Academy). But we are still lucky that this strain of virus is not a strong one, otherwise, we would have a lot of fatalities because obviously we are not prepared," he said.

"Do we have a service continuity plan? We need that to keep vital government offices and businesses functioning should a deadlier pandemic reach the country. We must use the present situation to learn and understand what we have to do, plan and prepare, and then practice it," he added.

Gordon stressed the need for both the public and private sectors to draft service and/or business continuity plans on how to keep their offices and factories functioning in the event that a stronger wave of flu pandemic enters the country..

The senator explained that if a deadlier contagious disease reaches the country and affects a much larger number of people, it could lead to government offices and businesses closing up as employees fail to report to work.

"With a continuity program, we can take into account the impact of pandemics on the staffing of organizations during worst case scenarios when employees are unable to come to work," Gordon said.

"Private and public offices should revise their personnel policies to account for pandemic risk cases as well as strengthening hygiene practices and adjusting provisions for health care. This, we must do now," he added.

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