HEALTH Secretary Francisco Duque 3rd placed all government hospitals under “Code White” in preparation for the traditional commemoration of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day on November 1 and 2.
“Ang lahat po ng ospital natin ay naka-Code White, ibig sabihin po niyan ang lahat po ng off-duty ay dapat natatawagan kung saka-sakaling may emergency (All government hospitals are under Code White, which means that everyone who is off duty can be reached in cases of emergency). They can be called up anytime to be on-duty,” Duque said.
The Health secretary also reminded regional medical emergency teams to be ready in areas where there are crowds of people, with the Department of Health coordinating with local government units (LGUs).
Duque also encouraged Filipinos to plan visits ahead and to avoid, bringing infants and elders.
He also raised awareness against food poisoning, which may be caused by unhealthy preparations or spoilage because of the weather.
Duque’s announcement came as the Bureau of Immigration (BI) expects about 500,000 local and international arrivals at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) for the long holiday.
BI Port Operations chief Grifton Medina said based on statistics, passenger volume at the NAIA would usually increase by an average of 6 to 10 percent during the annual break.
“We expect the number of passengers at the airport next week to balloon to more than half a million, compared to the 493,000 who arrived and departed from the premiere port in the same period last year,” he added.
Medina said there were more than 500 immigration officers assigned to the three airport terminals to cater to the needs of the traveling public, adding that they were ready to deploy additional manpower if needed.
Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente appealed to the public for patience and understanding if they would experience or are already inconvenienced by long queues, saying it was inevitable especially when flights carrying big number of passengers would arrive or depart simultaneously at the airport.
“I have directed our immigration supervisors to see to it that all our counters are manned… and all maximum personnel are deployed to ensure uninterrupted service to the traveling public,” Morente said.
The BI chief placed on heightened alert the personnel in different ports to ensure that the country’s border security is not compromised amid the influx of passengers during the observance.
With the anticipated influx of visitors to the provinces, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) opened a portion of the 45-kilometer Cavite-Laguna Expressway (Calax) to ease traffic in two major thoroughfares.