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Negros Oriental and the rest of the world (through social media) had been witness to a three-day drama last week involving the search for three treasure hunters who died after they were buried alive in a tunnel they built 50 feet below the ground in Boloc-boloc, Sibulan, Negros Oriental.

We laud the participation of everyone who joined the search & rescue mission – from the drivers of the heavy equipment of the City of Dumaguete who played a major role starting on Day 2 until Day 3 when the third and last bodies were found, to the SAR teams of local government units who were dispatched by their supportive mayors, the national government agencies, individuals who volunteered their resources, and the medical doctors and First-Aiders of ONe Rescue.

Everything, of course, would not have been possible without the approval of Mr. Maximo Tan, owner of the lot on the other side of the treasure hunting site, from where the successful recovery operation was staged.

If we counted all the man-hours, fuel, food, and everything that went into the SAR mission, and most especially, the damage it created, the amount would surely be in the millions.

One major costly operation caused by a single illegal — even criminal — activity.

Engaging in that treasure hunting activity without the required permits from the Office of the President and without an Environmental Compliance Certificate surely was a decision that showed a great lack of intelligence and common sense. (And there are more of these activities taking place in our Province today.)

And so with people who insist on living in hazardous areas, like along riverbanks or dry river beds. They refuse to heed government warnings to move out, but expect, even demand for government assistance when the floods come and wash their houses away.

Ditto for motorcyclists who insist on driving long or short distances without crash helmets.

True, we recognize that rescuers and First-Aiders are trained to respond to emergencies, be they caused by stupid decisions or not. But that is not an excuse for people to disregard common sense, and leave the responsibility of doing the after- care to government.

Safety consciousness should be everyone’s concern. Accidents can be prevented.

Unless one really planned on being a victim.

(Back to MetroPost HOME PAGE)



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