Two days after the drowning incident in Davao River on March 3, the Davao City Police Office-Maa Police Station (DCPO-PS16) has discovered the last victim, a 12-year-old student from St. Michael Village, Maa.
Two days after the drowning incident in Davao River on March 3, the Davao City Police Office-Maa Police Station (DCPO-PS16) has discovered the last victim, a 12-year-old student from St. Michael Village, Maa. Contributed photo

Oplan Summer Vacation amid drowning incidents

FOLLOWING a series of drowning incidents in the area, the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) announced plans to implement comprehensive security measures in tourist spots, particularly coastal and beach areas, under "Oplan SumVac" or "Oplan Summer Vacation." 

The yearly operation by the Philippine National Police (PNP) during the summer season, starting in March, aims to enhance security in areas frequented by local and foreign tourists.

DCPO spokesperson Captain Hazel Tuazon highlighted that police presence will be intensified along coastal areas and major thoroughfares, transportation hubs, terminals, commercial areas, and places of worship. 

Speaking at an AFP-PNP Press Corps forum on Wednesday morning, April 18, 2024, Tuazon underscored the importance of parental supervision in preventing drowning incidents among children.

“Ang atoa lang diha, magtinabangay lang specially sa mga ginikanan nga naay mga batang gagmay. Di nila pasagdan nga mangaligo sa dagat nga mao rang usa, walay kauban unya ang mga kauban mga bata rapud. Ang mga ginikanan gyud ang dunay responsibilidad (Our main goal is to work together, especially with parents who have young children. They should not allow their children to swim alone in the sea, especially when their companions are also young children. It is the responsibility of parents to ensure their children's safety)," she added.

The announcement follows several drowning incidents recorded in the Davao Region in early 2024. 

Notably, on March 30, the Coast Guard District Southeastern Mindanao (CGDSM) reported two incidents—one in Bulata Fishing Village, Barangay Lawa, Don Marcelino, Davao Oriental, and another in Barangay Dawan, Mati City, Davao Oriental. 

Additionally, on April 13, three children were found drowned at North San Juan, Barangay Centro, Agdao. The victims, aged 7 and 4, were last seen playing along the shorelines before the incident occurred.

Further incidents occurred on April 15, resulting in the deaths of two minors in separate drowning incidents in Barangay Dalagdag, Calinan, and Kapalong River in Kapalong, Davao del Norte. 

These incidents highlight the critical need for heightened safety measures, including increased police presence and parental vigilance during the summer season. DEF

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