Surigao del Norte governor orders 24/7 medical assistance in Siargao

MANILA, Philippines – Surigao del Norte Governor Sol Matugas has ordered local governments and beach resorts in Siargao Island to step up their emergency response and safety measures following a recent surfing accident involving the son of broadcast journalist Karen Davila. 

On Saturday, March 31, Davila shared on her Facebook page a statement from the provincial government of Surigao del Norte.

"The Provincial Government of Surigao del Norte is sad to hear about the unfortunate incident that happened to the son of Miss Karen Davila while having his surfing lessons in General Luna, Siargao Island," Davila's post read.  

According to the post, Matugas has already issued an executive order requiring all municipal mayors in Siargao Island to provide 24/7 medical assistance for the public through their rural health units (RHU), and to ensure sufficient supply of medicines.

Davila earlier shared in a Facebook post that her son suffered scratches and bruises during a surfing lesson in Siargao. 

Davila was upset that the surfing instructor who was assigned to her son disappeared after the accident. She also expressed shock at the lack of medical facilities and equipment in the immediate vicinity.

The provincial government has already organized a rescue team that will be on standby in frequently visited tourist areas in the island, including Cloud 9 in the municipality of General Luna. Davila and her family stayed in a hotel located at General Luna.

"This team will be able to provide immediate medical response in emergency situations to augment/reinforce the existing health care personnel and doctors of the rural health units in the locality," Davila's post on Saturday read. 

The rescue team is composed of trained personnel from Surigao del Norte's provincial health office and provincial disaster risk reduction management office.

According to Davila's post, Matugas called on all municipalities and barangays (villages) to be proactive in coming up with measures to ensure the safety and comfort of tourists, in coordination with the provincial government and national government agencies.

The governor also reiterated her appeal for operators of beach resorts to provide security officers and to install CCTV cameras.

"First aid treatment should also be required from all resort operators and tourism-related establishments, including lifeguards, especially in establishments with swimming pools or along the beach, and they are to immediately coordinate with government rescue teams in any eventualities," the post read. 

Davila shared another Facebook post that shows a first aid team stationed inside Cloud 9. 

On Saturday, House Speaker and Davao del Norte 1st District Representative Pantaleon Alvarez said he "will make sure the budget is released" for public safety-related projects in the island. –