THE idea came to Yeng Guiao after a conversation with Alvin Patrimonio on the events surrounding Samboy Lim's collapse last November in an exhibition game that left his fellow PBA great in a coma.
Now that idea is on course to becoming a law.
A bill filed by the Rain or Shine coach and Pampanga representative to Congress requiring students in both private and public schools to undergo Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) training has been approved at the committee level.
House Bill 5891, titled CPR Training in Schools Act of 2015, which Guiao authored has not only been approved by the Committee on Basic Education but has since been co-authored by some of the committee members.
"I'm quite happy with the reception," said Guiao. "The DepEd (Department of Education) usually frowns on bills that affect its work, but it threw its full support behind the CPR training bill."
The story of how it took almost 30 minutes for Lim to get CPR from the moment he collapsed in a Legends game at the Ynares Arena in November, as relayed to him by Patrimonio who was by Lim's side as an SUV maneuvered through traffic to get him to a hospital, moved Guiao to take action.
Now he has a bill which he hopes can save more lives in the future. And he has named it the Samboy Lim bill to honor the well-loved former PBA star.
"Imagine, if there was someone in that arena who knew how to do CPR, there's a good chance Samboy will not be in a coma now," said the first-term congressman from the first district of Pampanga.
For a change, Guiao cited medical findings - not game statistics.
According to Guiao, doctors said that had CPR been administered during the three-minute window, Lim’s chances of recovery would have been better. Studies suggest that without CPR, the survival rate of cardiac arrest is less than one percent, but bystander CPR can double or triple the chances of survival.
CPR training for students, Guiao added, is no longer new. It is required in 27 states in the US as well as in Malaysia, Japan and Singapore, he added. Norway has had a similar bill in place since the sixties.
Joining Guiao in the hearings was lawyer Darlene Berberabe, former wife of Lim and head of the Pag-ibig Fund who has made CPR training a personal advocacy.
With the well of support, Guiao hopes the Samboy Lim bill can become a law before Congress adjourns for the 2016 elections.
“Ultimately, the goal is to turn the youth into lifesavers," Guiao said.