ORMOC CITY – As Mayor Richard Gomez gears the city to become the first Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation or CPR-ready and Automated External Defibrillator or AED-equipped Local Government Unit (LGU) in the Eastern Visayas region, he also lent his star status to the Philippine Heart Association (PHA) as their newest endorser for their instructional video and other advocacy campaign materials.
The mayor gamely shot sequences of the videos inside his office this Tuesday, June 6, including two location shoots at the Ormoc Superdome. In between breaks, he entertained visitors and even met with his councilors for the weekly meeting of the Ormoc Development Team.
Mayor Gomez said it is a privilege to be chosen as PHA’s endorser and “instructor” of the instructional video on Hands-Only CPR and AED use.
The mayor, who is known to be a Red Cross volunteer and endorser, said anything that is geared at saving lives would always get his unconditional support. “I don’t like to see people dying without any help. I want them to have a fighting chance to live another day. Life is always important. Every person is valuable in his own way. The person you may be saving now could be the one feeding his whole family. He could be the only one his family hangs on to,” the mayor said.
The Hands-Only CPR technique, when administered early and properly, increases a sudden cardiac arrest victim’s chances of survival by 33%.
Mayor Gomez had his first brush with the PHA last January, when more than 500 Ormocanons from all walks of life were trained in the life-saving technique. This was during the PHA’s “CPR on Wheels and Wings” program that seeks to train people from all walks of life in the life-saving technique.
The program was in partnership with the Department of Tourism (DOT) which adopted it for a “Tourist-Safe Philippines”. Hands-Only CPR training was done in three (3) cities: Ormoc and Tacloban in Leyte, and Maasin City in Southern Leyte.
Mayor Gomez impressed the PHA with his enthusiasm and willingness to cooperate in the program that PHA is hoping to replicate nationwide.
Mayor Gomez, in his speech then, said that the implication of the program is not lost on him. He said it was intertwined with his tourism thrust, as a city with CPR-trained people would surely make visitors and tourists feel safer. On that day, he even attended the entire lecture on Basic Life Support, including the use of AED’s.
PHA officials, including their Past President Dr. Alex T. Junia, loudly applauded Mayor Gomez as he vowed to make Ormoc the first CPR-Ready city in Eastern Visayas. “Ormoc will be the first Eastern Visayas city to be CPR-Ready and one of the first CPR-Ready cities in the country. The LGU shall acquire at least five (5) more AED’s for Ormoc. These will be installed at the airport, port area, bus terminal, tourist establishments, and the Ormoc Superdome,” the mayor vowed then.
At the podium, he ordered City Disaster and Reduction Management Officer Ciriaco Tolibao to purchase the additional five more AED’s. True to his promise, the City Government of Ormoc currently has a total of eight (8) AED’s.
He is also encouraging the Ormoc-based private institutions to learn CPR and to be equipped with AED.
Dr. Rhodette Arevalo, a cardiologist and CPR Provider and Trainer, is the PHA point person in Ormoc for the CPR campaign. She said the instructional video is corollary to RA 10871 or the “Samboy Lim Law” which seeks to institutionalize Basic Life Support Training in both private and public schools. The videos will soon be released nationwide, allowing Filipinos to learn how to
administer CPR and use AED.
Section 3 of the Act, also known as “Basic Life Support for Basic Education Students,” mandates that “all public and private basic education schools operating nationwide to provide their students with Basic Life Support training through the use of psychomotor training in an age-appropriate manner.”
Dr. Arevalo said the PHA felt it should also be introduced to other sectors of society. Heart disease which may lead to sudden cardiac arrest, she said, remains the number 1 killer all over the world today. By Lalaine M. Jimenea