(File photo)

MANILA – A measure seeking to protect good Samaritans in emergency situations has been filed at the House of Representatives.

Tingog party-list Representatives Yedda Marie Romualdez and Jude Acidre filed House Bill 1949 which seeks to support individuals who provided reasonable assistance during times of emergencies by protecting them from legal liability if their aid was "useful and appropriate" to the situation’s de-escalation.

The House has referred the proposed “Good Samaritan Act” to the House Committee on People's Participation.

“With the present number of people within the country, there are bound to be situations where civilian assistance will not only be valuable but necessary to ensuring safety of the populace,” they said.

They noted that there would also be situations where civilians will have the desire to provide aid to legal channels yet fear the negative repercussions of their actions.

The enactment of this bill will provide an avenue where both the concerns of civilians and government parties can be put to rest, encouraging the populace to aid in the protection of the nation.

A good Samaritan is defined in the bill as an individual performing volunteer services who does not receive compensation to reasonably assist a person in an emergency.

Under the bill, a good Samaritan shall not be held liable for harm caused by an act or omission if:

-- the good Samaritan was acting in an emergency at the time of the act or omission;

-- if appropriate or required, the good Samaritan was properly licensed, certified or authorized by the appropriate authorities for the activities undertaken in an emergency at the time of the act or omission; and

-- the harm was not caused by willful or criminal misconduct, gross negligence, reckless misconduct, or a conscious, flagrant indifference to the rights or safety of the individual harmed by the good Samaritan.

The proposed liability protection would not apply to any misconduct that constitutes a crime or was performed under the influence of intoxicating alcohol or any dangerous drug at the time of the good Samaritan’s improper conduct. (PNA)