(SEPTEMBER 10, 2019) – Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Tuesday suggested emergency workers should look into the possibility of using choppers to fly patients to hospitals, aside from using less clogged roads.
Panelo’s response came after a report from the Agence France-Presse which showed that some patients on ambulances died on the way to the hospital because of congested roads in Metro Manila.
The report also said motorists refused to give way and emergency lanes were impassable due to the heavy traffic situation.
“They should be creative. They should look for roads that are not traffic-laden or perhaps they can use choppers for an emergency flight,” the spokesman told reporters in his regular press briefing.
But can the government have the capability to provide choppers?
The spokesman said the Armed Forces of the Philippines can be utilized to help, with proper coordination between the Departments of Health and National Defense.
“Kung ganoon kaselan ang problema, then the DOH should initiate it,” he said, before further suggesting that the agency should look if it can include such proposal in the next budget.
“Perhaps, they should include that in the next budget where they can ask the help of other agencies that can buy that choppers to be converted into an ambulance chopper,” he said.
Due to this, Panelo said the president really needs emergency powers in order to solve the traffic woes of Metro Manila that seem to be unsolvable.
“The President wants to solve that,” Panelo said, although he made it clear that the President will not “go down on his knees and plead” to lawmakers for the emergency powers.
“They should know what the President needs in order to solve the problems of the country, specifically with respect to this matter,” the spokesman said.
The President in a previous speech seemed to have lost hope with the EDSA traffic situation.
“Let EDSA rot there,” the chief executive said in a speech in late August, as he vented his ire on Senator Grace Poe.
Poe during the Senate committee on public services hearing early Tuesday maintained that emergency powers are not needed in solving the EDSA mess, particularly on the procurement aspect.
Department of Transprotation Secretary Arthur Tugade had reiterated his call for the granting of the special powers to ease the traffic situation in Metro Manila’s major thoroughfare. (Randell Ritumalta/JMF)