August 14, 2008–MANILA, Philippines–To combat the high incidence of death by cardiac arrest in the country, a lawmaker has filed a bill seeking the mandatory teaching of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in public and private secondary schools.
In a statement on Thursday, Alliance for Rural Concerns partylist representative Narciso Santiago III said he filed House Bill 4422 because there is a need to teach young people CPR as most cases of cardiac arrests happen at home.
The CPR is an emergency medical procedure for people whose hearts have stopped due to cardiac arrest caused by heart attack, gas poisoning, drug overdose, head injury, drowning, suffocation, and electric shock, among others.
Both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Department of Health (DOH) have tagged heart disease as one of the leading causes of death in the Philippines. A WHO study showed that heart disease and strokes kill about 17 million people a year, while the DOH said nine Filipinos die of heart disease every hour.
"By 2020, heart disease and stroke will become the leading causes of both death and disability worldwide, with the number of fatalities projected to increase over 20 million a year and by 2030 to over 24 million a year," Santiago said.
Santiago’s bill seeks to incorporate CPR training in the physical education curriculum of all high schools, as well as provide funding for two-year programs that will establish the project.
A large portion of the grant will be allotted for the first year to fund teacher training, instruction materials, training mannequins, and other equipment, while the rest of the funding will go to maintenance, continued or additional teacher training, and other expenses, said Santiago.