Friday, March 16, 2012

Pangasinan lays out safety plan for summer vacation

With the summer vacation fast approaching, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council laid out its plan for beach goers and sun worshippers.

Dubbed Oplan: SumVac, the operational plan aims to strengthen strategies on safety and targets zero drowning incidents in the province.

PDRRMC Spokesperson Avenix Arenas said part of the plan is to continuously train its personnel on skills and latest techniques on search and rescue efforts.

The water search and rescue (WASAR) team and the Provincial Health Office’ emergency response team are now dispatched in the shores to monitor beach goers. 

The council is now on ‘blue alert’ status which means the tactical operations center has skeletal forces to provide public service and answer alert calls 24 hours daily, Arenas said.

Little by little the provincial government, through the leadership of Gov. Amado Espino, Jr. was also able to purchase service vehicles, heavy equipments, and rubber boats to be used in rescue efforts.

The government has also built beach towers manned by able personnel to oversee the happenings in the waters. It also plans to construct bigger and more durable beach towers.

“Part of the preparedness plan is to construct additional beach towers, as the prescribed distance of beach towers according to the Department of Health is 100 meters,” Arenas said.

Interesting to note are the warning signages placed in strategic locations printed in four dialects and languages. Warnings like “Avoid swimming when under the influence of liquor; when waves are too high; when its dark; when stomach is full,” are all translated in four languages - Pangasinan, Ilocano, Filipino and English – to be better understood by locals and foreigners alike.

Arenas said a dialogue among the PDRRMC, barangay officials and shed owners yielded fruitful efforts to help one another in ensuring public safety in the beaches. She said the bottom line in going to the beaches is discipline.

The PDRRMC, now helmed by its new executive officer, retired Army Col. Fernando De Guzman, promises to exert all its efforts in ensuring the safety of Pangasinenses, tourist and visitors when they visit Pangasinan beaches. (JCR/VHS-PIA 1 Pangasinan)