MANILA — President Benigno S. Aquino III said the government has enough money to fund the necessary preparations to address the threat of Ebola virus affecting the country.
“At this time, I’m made to understand that the funds are sufficient. And in case they are not, I think I can draw on the contingency fund, and at the end of the day siguro even the President’s Social Fund, if necessary,” the President said in an interview at Villamor airbase in Pasay City on Friday.
“But let us all hope and pray that it will not be necessary.”
The President also said that local health authorities have enough skills and know how to deal with the virus considering their previous preparations in fending off MERS Corona virus from entering the country.
This includes the use of personal protective equipment, as well as conducting seminars in the hospitals for their health personnel.
“Palagay ko lahat ng puwedeng gawin ginagawa na,” the President told reporters.
The government is adopting a similar response learned from organizations that dealt with the virus, like the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US, he noted.
“Now, based on all of these latest studies, we have patterned our systems to adopt all of them, to train our people to carry them out, to ensure that this disease is not allowed to come into our country, to the farthest extent possible,” he said.
But he admitted the need for public cooperation. People coming abroad must subject themselves to a strict screening process at the airports and seaports, especially if they come from countries with Ebola virus infections.
Families of the overseas Filipino workers must report if a family member comes from a country with reported Ebola outbreak so that appropriate quarantine measures can be done, the President added
The government facility intended for quarantining Filipino peacekeepers from Liberia is also now ready, according to the President. The soldiers will be quarantined on Caballo Island for 21 days.
The measure will be carried out by the Armed Forces of the Philippines, he said. There are doctors, desalination, recreation and power facilities needed by the soldiers undergoing quarantine, the President added.