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Chan to discuss with bridge board measures to prevent suicides at Mactan-Mandaue bridges

By: Rosalie O. Abatayo August 20,2019 - 07:43 PM

Marcelo Fernan Bridge. |CDN FILE PHOTO

LAPU-LAPU CITY, Philippines — In the wake of the recent suicides at the Mandaue-Mactan bridges, Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan planned to discuss with the members of the bridge board some measures to prevent future incidents.

The Mactan Cebu Bridge Management Board (MCBMB) is composed of the cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu and chaired by Provincial Governor Gwendolyn Garcia. It oversees the operation of the Mandaue-Mactan Bridge and the Marcelo Fernan Bridge, both of which link mainland Cebu via Mandaue City to Lapu-Lapu City on Mactan Island.

Chan said he will ask the MCBMB to direct the personnel assigned to supervise the closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras installed at the two bridges to improve their monitoring.

Kanang nagmonitor sa CCTV under  na sa bridge board. Ang iyang trabaho kana ra gyud ang pagmonitor. Kung dunay mo-attempt, duna man nay siren unta nga maoy mo-alarm. Kana siya angay na nga tan-awon,” said Chan.

(The one monitoring the CCTV is under the bridge board. His work is to watch the CCTVs so that if someone attempts to commit suicide, he can turn on the alarm. That is one thing that we can look into.)

On the part of Lapu-Lapu City, Chan said he has assigned personnel to watch the bridges to ensure there will no longer be any jumper. The city police was also asked to patrol the bridges at night, he added.

A CCTV camera at the Marcelo Fernan Bridge has captured a 16-year-old boy when he was walking on the bridge at dawn on Saturday, August 17.  He was believed to be the same boy who allegedly jumped off the bridge and whose body was found near a shipyard in Barangay Opao, Mandaue City on Sunday morning, August 18.

Read more: Missing 16-year-old boy found dead in Opao shipyard

Read more: Ateneo de Cebu heartbroken by death of its 16-year-old student; asks public to respect family’s privacy

Chan also endorsed to the MCBMB the proposal of psychology professor Dr. Sherryl Muli-Abellanosa to install signages at the bridges containing messages of hope and helpline phone booths that persons contemplating suicide may call.

“When a person is already at the verge of doing it, basin pa diay nga makabasa siya sa messages of hope (he/she might  have a change of heart if they read the messages of hope) ,” Muli-Abellanosa told CDN Digital.

“We also proposed nga perhaps they can install phone booths para kung tingali wala silay dala na nga phone, naa gihapon silay ways to contact the helplines and perhaps save them,” she added.

Muli-Abellanosa founded Kauban in 2017, a mental health support group that gives psychosocial education for those experiencing signs of depression.

Kauban holds gatherings at the Kadamay Center of the USC School of Law Building in downtown Cebu City every 6 p.m. on Fridays.

Those facing personal problems or experiencing extreme sadness can also reach out to and call Tawag Paglaum Centro Bisaya if they need someone to talk to.

Tawag Paglaum Centro Bisaya is a 24/7 call-based hotline for suicide prevention and emotional crisis intervention established in Cebu.

Anyone in Central Visayas experiencing a mental health problem relapse or suicidal thoughts may reach the hotline at 0939-936-5433 or 0927-654-1629. /elb


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TAGS: Mactan Cebu Bridge Management Board, Marcelo Fernan Bridge

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