Safe Lenten journey: Guidelines from DOH

File photo
File photo

DURING the Lenten season, people celebrate God’s love, observe traditions and reconnect with loved ones. It’s a time for city dwellers to escape the urban noise and find peace in the quiet and holiness of their provincial homes.

As the season approaches, many plan to travel back home, leading to long queues and a surge in bookings for flights and boat trips. The Department of Health (DOH) has declared the 2024 Holy Week as a “code white alert” for hospitals nationwide from March 24 to 31, 2024.


Through its page, a code white alert is issued during national events, holidays or celebrations that could potentially lead to mass casualty incidents or emergencies.

The DOH, specifically through its Health Emergency Management Bureau (HEMB), is actively monitoring the situation to anticipate and respond to any potential health emergencies that may arise. They are focused on ensuring that health facilities are prepared to handle any surge in patients and that essential medical supplies are readily available.

In addition, regional health centers are working closely with their respective disaster risk reduction offices to enhance coordination efforts. This collaboration is particularly important in tourist areas and religious sites, where large crowds are expected.


To ensure a safe and healthy Holy Week, the DOH recommends a few simple tips: Keep hydrated by drinking plenty of clean water, limit your time in the sun to avoid heat-related illnesses, and watch out for seasonal ailments like sore eyes and coughs. Also, be sure to supervise children closely during swimming and other activities to prevent accidents.

Following the DOH’s observation of common road crashes during the Holy Week, motorists are reminded to ensure their vehicles are well-maintained and regularly checked, especially before long trips. It’s crucial for drivers to be well-rested and avoid drinking alcohol, particularly before and during driving. Focus on the road and avoid distractions like using cellphones while driving. Obey traffic rules and take short breaks at regular intervals during long drives, drinking clean water regularly.


If you need help during an emergency, you can reach the DOH HEMB-OpCen (Health Emergency Management Bureau - Operations Center) at these contact numbers: 0917-805-9756 or 0917-861-9528 (mobile), (02) 8651-7800 local 2206/2207 (landline), or email them at


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