By Charissa Luci-Atienza
The Department of Tourism (DOT), local government units (LGUs) and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) have been urged to strictly impose rules and regulations on the safety operations of all beach hotels and resorts to ensure the safety of the tourists.
1-CARE party-list Rep. Carlos Roman Uybarreta noted that 14 drowning incidents were recorded by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) during the Holy Week break alone.
“Aside from safety measures, hotels and resorts should always have a lifeguard on duty as they serve as the first responders in unfortunate incidents at the beach,” he said in filing House Resolution 1812.
He noted that in 1992, the Department of Tourism enacted the Hotel Code providing for the rules and regulations governing the accreditation of hotels and other accommodation establishments.
Uybaretta said in 2014, the PCG also released a Memorandum Circular 03-14 regarding the guidelines for safety and security requirements of coastal and beach resorts and vessel pool facilities including qualifications and requirements of lifeguards for the promotion of safety of life at sea.
“The memorandum circular mandates all coastal and beach resorts to provide services and sufficient number of lifeguards that is duly trained and certified by the accredited organization by the Philippine Coast Guard, ” he said.
The MC 03-14 also tasks all coastal and beach resorts to provide services of a physician, either on-call or on full-time basis depending on their volume of operation and accessibility to hospital or medical centers. It also requires the presence of first-aiders who have completed a course on first aid duly certified by the Philippine Red Cross or other PCG accredited organization.
“Unfortunate incidents in beach resorts could be avoided with the strict implementation of such provisions which were put in place for safety measures, ” Uybaretta said.
“Without further action in response to this neglect, the country’s tourism industry may suffer and decline, ” he said.