On Wednesday afternoon, the municipal government of Taytay issued an official statement apologizing to some 90 individuals who were affected by the heat. The incident happened during a drum and lyre competition as part of Pasinggatan Festival 2023 on Tuesday, May 2.
“We have implemented a number of measures such as providing more shade areas, increasing the number of water stations and medical personnel on site, and shortening the duration of the competition to avoid prolonged exposure to the heat,” the statement read.
The event was marred by many of the participants fainting during the competition, prompting the organizers to temporarily stop the event. The Taytay LGU stated that most of those who fainted immediately recovered after they were attended to, but one had to be brought to the hospital for additional care.
The report stated that 90 individuals were affected by the heat, 88 of whom were participants, while two were simply spectators.
The local government unit (LGU) explained in its statement that when the incident happened, first responders, as well as other healthcare givers who were present, immediately attended to the affected individuals.
The LGU stressed that additional precautionary measures have been implemented to prevent another incident in future activities for the festival.
Contrary to statements issued by some participants, the LGU also clarified that the schedule of the competition, as well as the staging areas and mechanics of the competition, were discussed with them and their coordinators as part of the preparation.
Changes to the schedule and parade route were also made at the last minute as requested by the participants, while constantly reminding them to take extra precautions.
It also noted that as the day progressed, LGU officials recommended that the competition be put on hold because of the heat of the sun. The competition was to be continued later in the afternoon when the temperature goes down, so as not to put the participants at risk.
After consultation, however, parents, coordinators of each team, and other concerned parties agreed to continue. Delegation representatives assured the organizers that the students were used to being under the intense heat of the sun.
The LGU further stated that investigations will be conducted to identify the root cause of the incident. This is to enable them to take appropriate measures to prevent similar occurrences in the future. Initial investigations showed that some of the participants did not take their breakfast, and some even skipped lunch. This may have contributed to the increased incidence of fainting that happened during the competition.