SAVE OUR KIDS FROM DROWNING : Train all barangay tanod on first aid, safe water rescue

14 October 2017 | news release


House Committee on Youth & Sports Development Member and Iligan City Lone District Representative Frederick W. Siao files House Bill 3495 that seeks to mandate swimming as subject in the K-12 Basic Education Curriculum and an integral part of the overall strategy to reduce incidence of death from drowning during natural calamities or recreational aquatic activities.

A World Health Organization report indicates that 372,000 people worldwide die because of drowning.  All too often here in the Philippines, children and teenagers die of drowning and many of them do not know how to swim.

Drowning is one of the leading causes of accident deaths in the country. Researchers who studied drowning deaths data from 1980 to 2011 discovered that 2,496 drowning deaths is the annual average of the official stats but they also learned that the data under-reports.


A special study by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) reported that drowning is the second leading cause of death among Filipino children 14 years old and younger.

To address this situation, I filed House Bill 3495, which seeks to include swimming lessons, safe rescue, and water safety to our kids in school. We want swimming taught in the implementation of MAPEH (Music, Arts, Physical Education, and Health).

In HB 3495, we also want government to formulate and implement a drowning prevention plan and community action plans. These would cover not just the children in school but everyone nationwide.

In my view, every barangay and every neighborhood association should have a team of emergency medical responders with special training on water rescue. Emergency response should not just be about transporting victims. It must include water rescue and giving first aid and trauma care onsite.

The LGUs should also enlist seafarers and former seafarers as emergency responders because of their Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) training and experience. LGUs ought to also enlist the thousands of nursing graduates and nursing students we have nationwide.

“When water-related cataclysmic causes and maritime accidents were added, the average number of annual deaths due to drowning (4196 deaths per year) is 1.68 times the PHS (Philippine Health Statistics) estimate (2496 deaths per year),” – taken from . (END)


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