Resorts with no first aid staff face closure – DOT
Robertzon Ramirez (The Philippine Star) - April 12, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Tourism (DOT) yesterday ordered resort owners to deploy trained first aid responders, especially this summer, or face closure.

The DOT issued the warning after it discovered that Boracay and Siargao, two of the country’s top tourist destinations, have no emergency facilities.

Tourism Assistant Secretary Maria Rica Bueno said hotels and resorts are required to have first aid responders before they are given accreditation by the DOT.

 “Yes, definitely, because it is a requirement for accommodation facilities to employ trained first aid staff for emergency response,” Bueno said. 

“Failure to comply can be a ground for revocation or cancelation of the resorts’ accreditation and business permits,” she added.

Once the DOT revokes or suspends the resort’s accreditation, Bueno said they would inform the local government unit to sanction the erring establishment.

She said DOT regional offices are also coordinating with the environment department to check the compliance of resorts accredited by the agency.

Recently, Kelsey Merritt’s boyfriend, Conor Dwyer, suffered head injuries while surfing in Siargao. But there was no medical facility near the beach. 

Merritt posted on her Instagram account that there was no hospital or clinic near the island. 

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said they have asked local officials to ensure the availability of doctors and nurses in tourist destinations. 

“That’s the only problem in Siargao and Boracay because the other major tourist spots have hospitals like in Cebu, Bohol and Palawan,” Puyat said. 

Meanwhile, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde reminded the public to be on alert to avoid falling victim to criminals during the Holy Week.

Albayalde advised travelers going to the provinces not to disclose their activities on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, which can be monitored by criminals.

He said burglars usually take advantage of the long holidays to ransack unattended homes.

If possible, Albayalde said travelers should leave someone whom they trust to guard their homes or inform their neighbors that they would be on vacation.

The PNP has been placed on heightened alert for the Holy Week. The alert status will remain for the duration of the election period until June 12.

PNP spokesman Col. Bernard Banac said a total of 25,723 police officers were deployed in bus terminals, seaports, airports, major highways and other places of convergence nationwide.

Banac reminded the public to be careful when outdoors, noting that nine people have drowned on beaches and swimming pools from April 5 to 10.

The incidents occurred in the provinces of Zambales, Bataan, Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna, Bohol, Cebu, Misamis Oriental and Surigao del Sur.  –  With Emmanuel Tupas

BORACAY DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM FIRST AID SAFETY
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