Department of Health (DOH) – MIMAROPA (Oriental/Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan) in partnership with the Philippine Coast Guard – Palawan District has conducted the 8th batch of WASAR training with 43 successfully trained water attendants of Puerto Princesa City, Palawan who completed the five-day Water Search and Rescue (WASAR) Training held in various locations in the city from April 24-28, 2017.
The participants included swimmers, surfers and divers. There were 39 males and 3 females and all residents of Puerto Princesa City. Most attendees were from Barangay Bancungan, where Nagtabon Beach is located and a reported case of drowning was reported last March 2017.
“If there was a trained water personnel in the area, the incident could have been avoided. This is the reason why we need to prepare and teach all water personnel on water search and rescue for them to be able to prevent water accidents such as drowning,” Regional Director Eduardo C. Janairo stated.
According to Janairo, the regional office conducted a survey in areas where there are WASAR trained personnel and found out that they have zero case of drowning and water incident.
“Proper knowledge and the ability to providing immediate emergency response must be properly taught for them to have a better perception on how to manage a possible victim prior to and upon arrival of the health response team,” he emphasized.
Since the start of the “Health in Tourism Program” on March 24, 2015. DOH-MIMAROPA has trained a total of 205 WASAR water personnel and the first 28 certified lifeguard in the province of Palawan. The target is to have at least 500 aquatic personnel in the whole region. “The objective is to ensure safety of the public who frequents resorts and beaches,” Janairo emphasized.
Janairo also reminded the trainees to continue undergoing healthy lifestyle practices by maintaining strong physique and refraining from smoking and drinking alcoholic drinks which can affect the perception and awareness while on duty.
Water Search and Rescue (WASAR) training is the search for and provision of aid to people who are in distress or imminent danger. Participants are trained on the proper way of water entry, types of swimming, lifesaving techniques, group survival, water evolution and knot tying. Under the law, the PCG has the sole authority to provide WASAR and lifeguard training in the country.