Lawmaker seeks better health facilities in tourist spots

In response to the growing demands to bolster emergency preparedness in the tourism industry, a lawmaker has filed a bill establishing well-equipped health facilities in key tourism destinations in the country.

Agusan del Norte Rep. Erlpe John M. Amante, in filing House Bill 6070, said recent events involving death of several tourists in Boracay Island, Leyte and the island-paradise of Coron due to the inadequacy of the nearby hospital to treat the patients have placed the country in a bad light.

“These situations brought to fore the necessity in making the country’s tourist destinations more prepared and effective in dealing with emergencies and health-related crises,” he said.

Amante said tourism industry is prone to accidents due to the fact that most of its related activities entail providing experiences that offer “risks, thrills, and adventure.”

“But despite this industry’s well-known nature, any untoward incident is still unacceptable to the public; and the occurrence of such could even substantially affect the image of our destinations especially if this is due to failure of authorities to respond to life-threatening situations.”

Under the bill to be known as the “Tourism Health Facilities Act,” the Departments of Tourism, Health and Interior and Local Government are tasked to coordinate in the identification of tourist sites for the construction of tourism health facilities, to be referred as THFs.

Priority will be given to tourism sites that are isolated or with no existing health facility within four-kilometer radius. Each facility shall have a minimum capability to respond to emergency cases and treat common illnesses and injuries.

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