The Committee on Health of Congress will quiz DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III on pressing issues related to the rampaging H1N1 menace in the Philippines. The hearing will take place tomorrow, Monday, June 29. (As of 12:04pm today, the Congress website has no listing of the Committee hearing; the last hearing on H1N1 took place on June 22, 2009 at 1:30pm at the Ramon V. Mitra Building, Conference Rooms 7 & 8.)
Secretary Duque has received flak from Congressmen for reportedly not informing the House leadership early enough regarding the case of 49 year old lady employee of Congress who became the first Philippine and Asian fatality linked to H1N1. The DOH will also be asked about the country's general readiness in responding to the H1N1 crisis.
From where I sit, I believe the Philippines will face tremendous problems once the H1N1 crisis gets worse in the coming days and weeks. Poor Filipinos, especially those who don't have money to seek medical care and buy expensive anti-viral drugs, will be especially hard-hit. Let's join hands to ask government to provide us with greater access to medical care and free or low-cost anti-viral drugs such as Tamiflu (Oseltamivir) which currently sells for P150.50 per capsule at selected Mercury Drugstore outlets. Napakamahal po niyan! Pwede pong manghingi ng libreng Tamiflu ang ating gobyerno mula sa WHO at sa Roche (maker of Tamiflu) imbes na pagbayarin tayo.
More on this story in this flash report by Mariz Umali courtesy of GMANews.tv: