Community Lifesaving Operation & Training Center was officially handed over by Action Medeor Project Manager in Asia Ms. Katharina Wilkin, to the officers of Philippine Life Saving (PLS) and PLS – Gigantes in Barangay Granada, Municipality of Carles, Province of Iloilo last 8th of July 2017. In his speech, Arne A. Navarra, the President of Philippine Life Saving, thank Action Medeor and all its donors and supporters for funding the humanitarian action in Carles particularly in Gigantes island. Mr. Navarra emphasized to the officers the importance of nurturing the center to ensure its sustainability.

The PLS Gigantes and Island Sustainable Development Alliance Officers (ISDA) and the LGU were then directed to continue to (PLS) Pursue the advocacy in Lifesaving, Lead the programs for the community and Serve their constituents in times of need. Mr. Navarra likewise, commends Mr. Floro Padilla Sr. for unselfishly donating 150sqm parcel of his land to Philippine Life Saving for the construction of the Community Lifesaving Operation and Training Center. Ms. Wilkin and Mr. Padilla Sr. were awarded by Philippine Life Saving – the Lifetime Membership Award as “Ninang” and Lifetime Patronship Award; respectively.

Vice Mayor Merly B. Tupas also graced the event as one of the guest speaker. She said that there is a need to act together as one community and to support each other in programs that could uplift and progress capacity of the people. The importance of Coordination with the municipality of Carles, to seek support for project based program, in line with Solid Waste Management and Public Order & Safety is important to access the environmental fees collected from the tourists visiting Gigantes, she said.

On the other hand, Ms. Katharina Wilkin, express her heartfelt thanks to everyone, especially the PLS lifeguards for all their time and efforts in building the lifesaving center despite all the challenges encountered during the construction. According to Ms. Wilkin, the existence of a Community Lifesaving Operation & Training Center is part of the exit strategy to ensure sustainability and continuance of programs in the community to further strengthen local capacity in disaster response. Likewise, Ms. Wilkin launched a donation box campaign to collect volunteer funds to help pay operational and overhead expenses of the center. She ended up her speech by donating a preparedness box containing solar lamps, collapsible water containers and water purification tablets which can purify up to 10,000 liters of water from action medeor.

Also present during the event were, SB Esboy Marcelo, Jorge Ebay (UPVFI), Punong Barangay Rixie Magallanes (Granada) Punong Barangay Alberto Mayordomo (Gabi) Punong Barangay Abelardo Montibon (Asluman) , Kagawad Samuel Suguano (Lantangan), Kagawad Floro Padilla Jr (PLS Center Head) Kagawad Rey Rabanzo, Mr. Roy Gonzales Principal III Granada National High School Baylon Campus, Victoria Mayordomo ( Birthing Clinic -Gabi), Pastor Bernardo Dapiton Jr. ,Swim & Survive Teachers from the four elementary schools and the PLS Lifeguards and the members of the community.

In order to help sustain its operation, Philippine Life Saving through the Community Lifesaving Operation & Training Center will ran a Lifeguard Certification Trainings once every 2 months. First batch of training will start on 1st week of September 2017. Interested individuals may call 0905 -919 8391 or 09999953757 or email for slot reservation. ( Tibor Espinosa/Precy F. Lazaro )