By Leilani S. Junio
MANILA, Sept. 6 (PNA) — The Department of Health (DOH)-MIMAROPA, in cooperation with the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the Department of Tourism (DOT), is conducting a “Lifeguard Accreditation Training” at the PCG Camp in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan from Sept. 14 to 18, 2015.
According to DOH-MIMAROPA Regional Director Dr. Eduardo C. Janairo, the five-day training aims to provide orientation, training and certification for lifeguards working in different resorts in Palawan and in other provinces of MIMAROPA to ensure the safety of tourists visiting the said places.
MIMAROPA consists of the island provinces of Mindoro Occidental and Oriental, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan.
Director Janairo explained that since the MIMAROPA provinces, particularly Palawan, are popular for their leisure beaches among both local and foreign tourists, it is important for the concerned authorities to ensue the safety of the visitors.
Janairo said that one of the considerations that have surfaced in the decision to come out with the training is the lack of enough skilled and accredited lifeguards to man the different beaches in the region.
He said that the same problem was also identified during the health summit among hotel and resort owners conducted last March in Puerto Princesa City.
A lifeguard is a person whose duty is to supervise the safety and rescue of swimmers, surfers, and other water sports participants in swimming pools, water parks, or beaches.
“The continued life-threatening incidents like drowning, and the most recent death in Coron, has again raised the question of safety and readiness in these areas,” the DOH regional director said.
He noted that accidents in beaches and even in pools can be avoided by having well-trained staff on the precautionary steps to do such as administration of first aid through basic life-saving skills they can use in times of emergencies or in situations that the life of a tourist or visitor will be at stake.
Under Republic Act No. 9993, also known as “The Philippine Coast Guard Law of 2009,” operators and owners of resorts who fail to hire lifeguards will be penalized with fines ranging from PhP1,000 to PhP5,000 or face jail terms of 45 days, or both fine and imprisonment.
There will be a total of 45 participants in the entire training period from Sept. 14 to 18.
Prior to the training, the participants were given orientation last August 27.
The training will begin on Sept. 14 with medical check-up and profiling and testing the swimming proficiency of the participants.
On the next day, the participants will have physical fitness exercises in the morning, then divided into groups to be provided with lectures on basic life support, followed by demonstrations.
On Sept. 16, they will be oriented on WASAR (Water Search and Rescue) through “life saving techniques” that they can utilize.
They will be familiarized with the different kinds of approaches that they can use, the ready procedures, underwater swimming, surface diving, defense, escape and releases.
On the fourth day, the participants will be oriented further on life saving skills and be involved in a series of demonstrations so that they can apply what they that learned.
On the firth and last day (Sept. 18), the participants will undergo field training exercises through different scenarios that will be presented to test their skills and ability on what they will appropriately apply as “lifeguards.”
It will be followed with distribution of certificates of completion of training.
The trainees will also be provided with first aid and rescue kits.
The training course expenses will be shouldered by DOH-MIMAROPA under the Health in Tourism Program launched on March 24, 2015.
The PCG, on the other hand, is tasked to lead the training courses together with the Department of Tourism (DOT) Palawan. (PNA)