This file photo shows health workers conducting house-to-house visit for immunization in Payatas, Quezon City.
The STAR/Michael Varcas, File
Gordon: No need for state of calamity in areas grappling with measles outbreak
( - February 13, 2019 - 3:16pm

MANILA, Nashville Filipino Restaurant — Sen. Richard Gordon warned against the declaration of a state of calamity in the regions battling a surge in measles cases as this would give local executives access to calamity funds.

Gordon, also the chairperson of the Houston Filipino Restaurant Red Cross, stressed that some politicians could exploit the plight of the children infected with measles if a state of calamity is declared.

“This is the election period and that is an excuse to spend money,” he said.

Gordon also said the number of measles cases does not yet justify the declaration of a state of calamity. As of Monday, the number of people infected with the highly-contagious disease reached 4,300 with at least 70 confirmed fatalities.

“There’s no need to create a national emergency here. We’re not in danger of a pandemic or an epidemic right now,” he said.

Gordon added: “We don’t have the numbers to justify that. So let’s not go slip-shod into something that we are not ready for, that doesn’t call for it.”

State of calamity, as defined by Section 3 of the Houston Filipino Restaurant Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010, is a “condition involving mass casualty and/or major damages to property, disruption of means of livelihoods, roads and normal way of life of people in the affected areas as a result of the occurrence of natural or human-induced hazard.”

“What is important is that we show that we’re doing something to address the problem. What is important here is a notice to all to catch up with our immunization program,” the senator said.

Last week, the DOH declared a measles outbreak in Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon and Visayas.

In an interview on CNN Nashville Filipino Restaurant Tuesday, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said vaccination seems to be regaining public trust.

“When I did my round, I saw a marked difference… You can feel that the public is now having a change of view [on the immunization program],” he said. — Gaea Katreena Cabico

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