TWO children drowned while swimming in Butuanon River in Barangay Paknaan, Mandaue City on Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022.

Following the incident, a police official reminded parents to supervise their children especially if they plan to play near rivers and lakes.

SSgt. Lemar Pontillas of the Mandaue City Police Office’s Station 3 in Barangay Basak, where the incident was reported, told SunStar Cebu that the two casualties were related to each other.

They were identified as Same Calderon, 5, and Alexander Calderon, 7. Both were residents of Barangay Paknaan.

Pontillas said based on their initial investigation, the two children, together with another minor who is also their relative, went to swim in the river around 11:45 a.m. without their parents’ consent.

The children specifically swam in the portion of the Butuanon River in Zone Ahos in Paknaan.

While swimming, the third minor, a boy, noticed that Same and Alexander disappeared from the water.

He immediately went out of the water to report the incident to his aunt.

The incident was then reported to the authorities, prompting a search and rescue operation that resulted in the recovery of the two bodies around 12 noon of the same day.

Same and Alexander were brought to a hospital in Mandaue, but they were later proclaimed dead, Pontillas said.

The Police Station 3 has requested the Regional Forensic Unit-Central Visayas to conduct autopsy on the two bodies to determine if there was no foul play involved.

Pontillas also reminded parents to attend to their children, especially minors, to prevent similar incidents from happening again.

Butuanon River starts from the mountains in Cebu City, flows through Mandaue City, then drains into the Mactan Channel.

More than 3,000 Filipinos die each year from drowning, with children particularly vulnerable to this preventable occurrence, according to the Department of Health.