Bert Lozada Swim School calls for weather preparedness
According to a survey by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), drowning has become the second leading cause of death among Filipinos, especially for children aged 14 years and below and is the fourth leading cause of death from injury in the Philippines.
In line with this, July was designated as the National Disaster Month (NDCM) by Executive Order No. 137 dated August 10, 1999 to help increase every Filipino’s preparedness in the eventual occurrence of future natural disasters.
This year’s NDCM theme, “Maunlad na Bayan, Ligtas na Pamayanan” is concurrent with Bert Lozada Swim School’s vision of a drown-free Philippines via entitling underserved Filipino people with free swimming lessons.
As the country’s premier swimming institution and prompted by 2009’s Ondoy where many barangay were left flooded for months and where hundreds were reported dead or missing, BLSS’ program “Langoy Pinoy” was launched in 2010 in cooperation with the City of Pasig and with the full support of Mayor Robert Eusebio. With “Langoy Pinoy,” BLSS aimed to make Pasig City, which was one of the hardest hit by typhoon Ondoy, a Drown-Free City through giving free swimming lessons to prevent drowning incidents.
At present, “Langoy Pinoy,” now a full-blown campaign titled “Swimming is a Life Skill,” is replicated in other cities and has extended its efforts to teach not only adults and out of school youths but as well as public schools and day care centers. In addition to imparting an important life skill, the campaign is now geared to discovering kids with the potential or talent in the sport and giving them a chance to uplift their lives through sports scholarships in educational institutions. To date, from 2000 adults and kids in Pasig, BLSS has given free swim lessons to more than one million individuals in the Philippines.
“Equipping Filipino’s with a thorough knowledge on risk reduction measures and imparting with them the importance of swimming will eventually lead to a drown-free nation, my father’s – swimming pioneer and BLSS founder Bert C. Lozada, lifelong vision since he started giving free swim lessons since the 1970’s,” said Angelo Lozada, BLSS’ Chief Operating Officer.
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