The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Sunday, March 31, said 29 people died in 34 drowning incidents during the Holy Week break that started on March 27.

The youngest among the 12 minor-aged fatalities was four years old while the oldest was 78, PNP information chief and spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo said in a radio interview.

Three are still missing – one each in Rosales, Pangasinan; Jones, Isabela; and Tumauini, Isabela.

Fajardo said most of the drowning cases were reported in Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) with 10; followed by Ilocos and Cagayan Valley Regions with six each; and Bicol Region with five deaths.

Two children were also saved, a four-year-old boy in Ilocos Sur and another one in Aurora province.

“In Ilocos Sur, our personnel were able to successfully perform CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) on a four-year-old boy. We also deployed SAR (Search and Rescue)-trained personnel in Aurora and this led to the rescue of another drowning victim,” Fajardo said.

More than 52,000 police officers were deployed across the country for Lenten security, including those highly trained in lifesaving.

Overall, Fajardo said the Holy Week was generally peaceful.

“We are still on heightened alert status [until Monday] because we are expecting the return of millions of people from the provinces starting Sunday,” Fajardo said.PNA