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Senate VIPs who work behind the cam are new CPR-ReadyPH frontliners

By Gynna P. Gagelonia

PASAY CITY, February 6, 2024 -- Eight days before Valentine’s Day, the Philippine Heart Association (PHA) found new Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)-Ready/Automated External Defibrillator (AED) campaign partners in -- Atty. Arnel Jose Bañas, Deputy Secretary, Administrative and Financial Services; Dr. Renato D.G. Sison Jr., Director, Medical Dental Bureau and his Deputy Dr. Laila Celino; Porky Porcalla, Media Affairs Relations Officer of Sen. Nancy Binay; and Jenny Macrohon, writer, Senate Press Office; Senate heavyweights all.

Getting their solid commitment in giving the CPR-Ready.Ph/CPR on Wheels & Wings a major push is one of the best Heart Month 2024 presents received by the PHA, to date.

The Senate Administration and Health bureau-PHA CPR alliance will start off with the conduct of free hands-only CPR at the Senate which has over 2,000 employees, including the 40 officers and staff of the 24 senators.

PHA is the lead agency of the CPR-Ready.PH campaign which was launched in 2015. Its goals are: To Bring CPR to every Filipino home and to make every barangay/public places abnd spaces AED-equipped. Its slogan is: You don’t have to be a doctor or a nurse to save lives. Hands-only CPR increases the victim’s chance of survival by 30 percent; while AED-administration increases it twice over.

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Representing the PHA Board and Council on CPR in the meeting at the Senate are members of the PHA Secretariat – Gynna Gagelonia, Communications/Media Relations Officer; Francis Cortes, researcher/writer; Jam Montiveros, Council coordinator; and Ronaldo Grande, Administration assistant.

To perpetuate the Samboy Lim legacy, the PHA is leaving no stone unturned to keep the CPR-Ready.PH campaign going. Born Avelino Lim, Samboy passed on in December 2023.

The clamor to fast-track the enactment of the AED Law and implementation of the CPR; to resume the mass hands-only CPR trainings nationwide in old and new avenues, with old and new connections are the top priorities of the PHA Council on CPR.

Meanwhile, in August 29, 2023, PHA Officers – Drs. Luigi Pierre Segundo, Director II/Communications chair and Louella Santos, Director/Advocacy chair; Atty. Darlene Marie Berberabe, VP for External Affairs and Dr. Alena Pias Bantolo, member, PHA CPR Council, with the same team from the PHA Secretariat; made a courtesy call on Senators Lito Lapid, Nancy Binay and Christopher “Bong” Go; to lobby for the immediate passage of the AED Bill, an act that requires public places and spaces to acquire and install AEDs which should come as handy or readily available as the fire extinguisher. Said bill has different versions in both the Houses of Congress and Senate. Earlier, on August 1, 2023, PHA President Dr. Ronald Cuyco, Vice President Dr. Rodney Jimenez and Dr. Alena Bantolo; paid a courtesy visit on Rep. Richard Gomez in Congress to personally request him to keep his CPR-Ready.PH Ambassadorship and thank him for filing HB 1393/”National AED Program Act” in 2022, an act requiring the installation of AEDs in highly populated and cardiac emergency-prone areas such as public recreation spaces, gathering areas, school, and work places of all fields.

The filing and passage of the RA 10871/CPR Law, an act that mandates compulsory basic hands-only CPR of K-12 students in both public and private schools was inspired by basketball legend Samboy Lim who suffered from a heart attack in 2015.