BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance requiring all residents in the city to carry at all times a safety whistle to serve as their protective device in times of emergency.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Maria Mylen Victoria G. Yaranon stated that all barangay officials must require all their constituents to avail of a safety whistle and to carry it at all times and for them to include another safety whistle in their emergency or survival kit.
Further, the ordinance provided that employees and businessmen would tape an extra safety whistle under their tables or hang it at their work places for emergency use in times of emergency.
The ordinance also mandated the Department of Education to require every school head, employees and students to have a safety whistle and to carry it at all times.
All school heads, in coordination with the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC and non-government organizations, should conduct campus safety programs to properly educate students to be responsible owners of safety whistles and use it only for help, especially when under threat of abduction to themselves or to their schoolmates.
Under the provisions of the ordinance, three blasts from a whistle is an internationally recognized distress signal and all safety whistle holders must be responsible owners and use it only when needed.
Yaranon pointed out earthquakes, floods and fires create situations where people are quickly trapped inside buildings and make them unable to safely go to safer grounds, and choking and smoke eventually limits the ability of people to call for help, and noise from emergency response vehicles can drown their shouts.
According to her, blowing a whistle gets the people seeking for help heard over the roar of building fires despite zero visibility.
The proponent explained one of the safest forms of protection is a loud whistle which cannot be turned against the user like any other defense tools.
Yaranon revealed the 120 decibel blast from whistles let people know that the user is in need of help and deters perpetrators of abuse or violence from proceeding with their evil intent.
In case of medical emergency, she claimed a whistle can be used to alert others to call an ambulance or for medical assistance among other purposes.\
Moreover, senior citizens and persons with disabilities like the deaf mute cannot shout but they can blow a safety whistle during critical times to get the attention of people who can help them.
The ordinance was referred to the appropriate committee for study and recommendation whether the local legislative measure will be calendared for second reading and for publication before public hearings can be conducted for public inputs.
By Dexter A. See