CPR on Wheels & Wings – Leyte a huge hit
Bayanihan spirit is alive and well in Tacloban, Ormoc, Maasin
Text by Gynna P. Gagelonia
& Maureen Ann Gonzales
The CPR on Wheels -- Leyte landing was a mission accomplished that made an indelible mark and an enduring impact.
Staged in Tacloban and Ormoc, Leyte and Maasin, Southern Leyte, it was a huge hit with a total number of 2,297 participants from tourism frontline services, barangay health workers (BHWs) rescuers, the Department of Public Works and Highwas, hospital workers, students, et al.
Breakdown shows: Tacloban-- 1,213, Maasin City -- 784 and Ormoc 300 in the hands-only CPR and in the Basic Life Support (BLS) training.
The Leyte leg of the Philippine Heart Association- (PHA) and Department of Tourism (DOT)-led ambitious CPR campaign holds the distinction of being the first to have multi-partners and attendees from diverse groups.
“It is ambitious but doable and we have been making strides because of the growing interest among the PHA chapters and burgeoning network of supportive allies who have taken notice of the value of the campaign,” said PHA President Dr. Raul Lapitan.
The CPR on Wheels & Wings-Maasin was held from Jan. 11-12, 2017 at the Maasin Gym. The Tacloban stop took place on Jan. 13, 2017 at the Tacloban Astrodome Convention Center while the Ormoc hop was conducted on Jan. 14, 2017 at the Ormoc City Hall.
More than the strength in numbers was the power of presence and pledge made by the local leaders – Ormoc Mayor Richard Gomez, Tacloban Mayor Cristinas Gonzales Romualdez and Maasin Vice Mayor Maloney Samaco, to make the life-saving exercise a top priority health agenda.
Gomez vowed to beef up the city’s disaster and life-saving system and to increase its ante as a tourism and commercial hub. “Ormoc will be the first Eastern Visayas city to be CPR-Ready and one of the first CPR-ready cities in the country by planning to acquire five more AEDs to be installed in the airport, port area, tourist establishments, and the Ormoc Superdome”. Currently, Ormoc has two AEDs.
The Ormoc mayor and Vice Mayor Leo Locsin, two auspicious figureheads, attended the hands-only lecture and demo.
After exalting the efforts of the PHA, DOT and other co-organizers and attendees, Romualdez assured the Tacloban folk “together, we will work double time so that our beloved city will clinch the CPR-Ready Tacloban tag.”
“Tacloban will initially procure two,” Dr. Gloria Fabrigas, head of the Tacloban Special Project for Health Services, told THNV.
Samaco said that “one of the best things for our city is starting the year right with the CPR training to further reinforce its reputation as a healthy city. There has been a city-wide smoking ban in Maasin’s public places.”
Lapitan added “a component of the CPR-Ready Philippines Campaign, the CPR on Wheels & Wings was designed to transform every travel industry player into a CPR-equipped establishment/destination and city/town/barangay into a CPR-ready community. The ultimate goal is to make every traveller’s visit a holiday to the hilt.
Noticeably, the bayanihan spirit is very much alive and well in all these cities.
Leyte stands out for having the most number of stakeholders and collaborators from multi-links. The PHA point persons Drs. Leila Diaz (Tacloban), Rhodette Arevalo (Ormoc) and Levi Tan Living (Maasin), made sure, no stone was left unturned to ensure a successful training, thus they got the perfect partners for the events.
They extensively collaborated with DOT Region 8 Director Karina Rosa Tiopes, who assigned the very able Trina Dacuycuy, supervising Tourism Operations officer, who led three different groups of tourism stakeholders to Maasin, Tacloban and Ormoc.
Dacuycuy expressed the DOT’s stand in prioritizing medical training among its agents in the tourism sector. “The DOT, as an engine of economic growth, is concerned on the safety of visitors. We should be prepared in these situations, that is why we promote CPR to ensure safety and quality tourist experience through BLS skills,” she said.
Dacuycuy reiterated the DOT’s staunch cause to uphold safe tourism in the country. “The increasing instances of sudden cardiac deaths and sometimes drowning incidents in resort and hotel premises makes it a must for hotel and restaurant frontliners to be equipped with CPR skills as we guarantee satisfaction and safety for tourists’ on top of an enjoyable stay.’’
She also also encouraged her colleagues in the tourism industry to participate in the “educational and fun” CPR lectures and demonstrations that are made easy by the PHA”.
Dr. Alex Junia, CPR-Ready Philippines adviser and PHA immediate past president said that “the Leyte hop as a whole is impressive. It did succeed in embedding a sense of heightened awareness and interest in the organizers and participants to propagate CPR to be able to save lives. It is a constant reminder that every leader and citizen should be on his toes at all times.”
“The involvement of the LGUs is crucial in gathering the BHWs for a day of training and empowerment. By reaching out to them, cities/town and barangays are now beginning to recognize the value of early CPR and having an AED in public areas, said Bugarin. “
Three years after suffering from the harsh hands of super typhoon Yolanda, Tacloban and nearby cities and towns are back on their feet. Bearing the signs of buoyancy with a more guarded mien, the CPR gearing-up activity organized by heart-health authorities was greatly appreciated.


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