Willie Ong urges Duterte: Create task force for nuclear radiation emergency

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 10 2022 05:17 PM

CABIAO, Nueva Ecija - Aksyon Demokratiko vice presidential candidate Willie Ong on Thursday urged President Rodrigo Duterte to create a national task force that would prepare Philippine hospitals to address a possible "nuclear radiation emergency."

As early as now, the Philippines should prepare for a possible nuclear emergency as Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues, Ong said in one of their town hall meetings here.

"Kailangan magtayo tayo ng IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) hindi sa COVID pero IATF sa nuclear radiation emergency," he said.

(We need to create an IATF not just for COVID but also for nuclear radiation emergency.)

"Vino-volunteer ko na ang sarili ko, ako na lang ang maghe-head," he said.

(I am volunteering to head it.)

Aside from training medical personnel on how to handle patients exposed to nuclear radiation, Ong said the country should stockpile potassium iodide, which could help protect internal organs from radiation injury.

"'Yan ang gamot kapag nagkaroon ng nuclear war, ng nuclear radiation," the cardiologist said.

(That's the medicine needed when there is a nuclear war, when there is nuclear radiation.)

"Iinumin lang yan one tablet once a day at magtatago tayo sa loob ng mga building, hindi puwedeng butas butas yung bintana," he said.

(You just have to take one tablet once a day and then we will have to hide inside buildings without any windows or holes.)

Ong said his proposal would only cost the government around P20 million as initial stages would only involve the training of medical personnel and the procurement of potassium iodide.

"Kailangan ihanda na natin ang experts natin kasi oras na may mangyari, magpa-panic na naman tayo katulad ng nangyari sa COVID," he said told ABS-CBN News.

(We have to prepare experts so that when something happens, we won't panic like how we did with COVID.)

"Tayo ang iniisip kasi natin malayo pa dadating pero para yang COVID, sabi hindi dadating, o dumating... Hindi siya simpleng pinagwawalang bahala," he said.

(We always think that it's far from happening, but it's like COVID, wherein people said it won't come here and yet it did... It's not something that we can just shrug off.)

Ong's proposal came after Duterte described Russian President Vladimir Putin as a "suicidal" leader who could "start to push the button of nuclear warheads or nuclear bombs."

"You watch out for Putin, he is suicidal," Duterte said in a recorded speech.

"Kaya 'pag mapahiya siya dito, magwawala 'yan (If he loses face, he will go on a rampage) and I realized it when I went to Russia. I had a talk with him on all aspects of life,” he said.

In the past two weeks, Russia has been attacking several nuclear facilities in Ukraine, fueling worries about a possible disaster that could cripple not only Europe but the rest of the world.

Watch more on iWantTFC