Solons underscore need for a 'Charlie Jandic law' on emergency response

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 17) — What if Dr. Charleanne "Charlie" Jandic was not at the right place at the right time?

Jandic, a medical post-graduate intern at Chinese General Hospital in Manila, saved the life of an MRT-3 passenger who lost her right arm after falling onto the tracks at Ayala station last Tuesday.

Jandic put a tourniquet on the bloodied victim, 24-year-old Angeline Fernando.

Fernando was rushed to the hospital where doctors were able to successfully reattach her preserved arm.

Read more: MRT commuter's arm reattached following accident

"Pero hindi sa lahat ng insidenteng tulad nito ay may isang Dr. Jandic na tutulong (But not all similar incidents have a Dr. Jandic to help out)," Senator Sonny Angara said in a statement on Friday.

He pointed out that during the freak accident, Jandic was the only one capable of immediately attending to the victim, assisted by security guards on duty.

Lawmakers have since pushed for the passage of a law that will improve the country's capability to respond to emergencies.

Angara called for the passage of Senate Bill 1573 or the "Emergency Medical Services System Act" which he filed in August 2017. It mandates all local government units to create a dispatch complete with an ambulance and qualified personnel to treat emergency cases.

Under the bill, public and private institutions, including parks, malls, and transport stations, should have at least one automated defibrillator to immediately treat someone suffering cardiac arrest.

A national emergency number should also be made available for the public under the the proposed law.

A counterpart was earlier filed before the House of Representatives on February 2017. Its principal author said he wants to name the proposed law, House Bill no. 4955, after Jandic.

"When the committee tackles the bill, I will move that its short title be changed to, 'The Dr. Charlie Jandic Emergency Medical Services System Act of 2017' to make her the model of the kind of compassionate and swift response the EMSS must deliver to the Filipino people," Rep. Ron Salo said in a press release on Wednesday.

Netizens quickly hailed Jandic a hero for her quick response and compassion.