Story and photos by Emmanuel Canto
Summer is fast-approaching, which means locals from all walks of life are looking forward to a getaway. During Holy Week, which is today considered a time for a vacation, many look to escape the city for cooler locales. Travelers visits beaches, mountains, resorts, and water parks; however, many of those venturing into various bodies of water do not know how to swim.
This is where the Philippine Life Saving Society, a non-governmental organization and non-profit that seeks to make communities “drown-proof,” comes in as they promote their advocacy of teaching every Filipino how to swim and survive. During the organization’s first training of the year, Dian-ay National High School students participated in an event at Balay Kauswagan in Sagay City.
As an advocate of the “Drown-Free Philippines” initiative, which believes in producing and equipping the next generations of lifesavers with the capability to address drowning incidents, the Philippine Life Saving Society reminds the public to keep a close watch on their children to prevent drowning incidents.
According to the World Health Organization, drowning incidents among children are quite high.
The Philippine Life Saving Society has been at the forefront of the movement and is recognized worldwide. Associated with the International Life Saving Society, Royal Life Saving Society of Australia, along with other similar groups across Asia, their programs are geared towards the realization of ensuring, for every family, one life saver is produced.
The organization has produced over a hundred licensed lifeguards, who currently operate around the world.
As noted in a feature published last July, the Philippine Life Saving Society has its roots as a local community program in the Islas de Gigantes, a part of Carles, Iloilo. More recently, they conducted six-month trainings at several barangays in the area.
Also mentioned in the aforementioned article, the group also forged a partnership with German medical aid organization Action Medeor. The group has subsequently set up centers across the country. Each center is mandated to develop and train future lifeguards, particularly out-of-school youth./WDJ