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Moving forward towards accountable tourism

Santa Fe, Cebu, Philippines. With the goal of adopting the best practice standards in water safety and lifeguarding, the Municipality of Santa Fe, under the administration of Hon. Mayor Jose B. Esgana, initiated an International Certification on Water Safety and Lifeguarding from 02 July 2013 until 13 July 2013.

The training, participated by seven (7) local residents of Santa Fe and a Swedish foreign national, was conducted by Mr. Larry Joie S. Alag, PLS Sec-Gen, Mr. Rahuel J. Antonio and Ms. Lyanne Faye C. Lamayan, Bronze Medallion Awardees and national trainers on lifeguarding of the Philippine Life Saving (PLS), the sole full member organization of the International Life Saving (ILS) Federation (www.ilsf.org). The initiative was also supported by the Tourism Office of the Local Government Unit (LGU), the Philippine Coast Guard, the 205th Coast Guard Auxiliary Squadron (PCGA), LEAD Volunteers, and some resorts namely, Beach Placid, Kota Beach Resort, Anika Island Resort, Hoyohoy Villas and the Santa Fe Beach Club.

National Disaster Consciousness Month
July. In coherence to the celebration of the National Disaster Conscious Month, PLS also conducted a resuscitation training with all resorts’ staff and a Water Safety Symposium (WSS) participated by at least one thousand and two hundred (1200) students of Santa Fe National High School led by Mr. Marianico E. Ilustrisimo, DepEd – SFNHS School Head, representative of all the departments of the LGU of Santa Fe and members Bantayan Island Association of Hotels, Resorts, Bar and Restaurants.

The training aims to capacitate the municipality on water safety for the local and international clientele. It also enhances the resorts’ understanding of the international standard in emergency response system specifically on land and aquatic related incidents.

Raised the Red and Yellow Flags
20 July 2013. A multi-sectoral open forum and press conference was also held at Beach Placid for public consultation on the adoption of the international best practice standards. Ms. Melanie Loyao, Tourism Officer of Santa Fe, stated the current situation of the municipality with regards to lifesaving, aquatic safety and drowning related incidents. In response, Mr. Larry Joie S. Alag, PLS, presented the Philippine Drowning Prevention Council PDP Plan for 2010 – 2015 encouraging the LGU and all stakeholders to adopt all of its recommendations for a more comprehensive program in water safety education, safe aquatic locations, research and development and key drowning demographics. On the other hand, the Philippine Coast Guard presented the guidelines on safety and security requirements for beach and coastal resorts in the promotion of safety of life and property at sea. The Honorable Mayor and Hon. Joan Gay Pasasadaba, Chairman of the Committee on Tourism, expressed their all out support of this initiative.

The program was concluded with the raising of the red and yellow flag signifying the adoption of the international best practice standards. The adoption also includes the installation of safety signage along the 17.2kms coastal area of the municipality. This is in compliance with the Specifications Standards in Water Safety Signs and Beach Safety Flags under ISO-20712 of Geneva, Switzerland.

Moreover, the PLS appointed its Life Saving Director, LTJG MARANATHA ILUSTRISIMO PCGA, to manage the Philippine Life Saving Center in Santa Fe and the rest of Bantayan Island.