Traffic, road accidents cited as most pressing problems in Region 9
ZAMBOANGA CITY — The primary concern of the peace and order council here used to be violent extremism. Now, traffic and road accidents are the main issues besetting the region.
City Mayor Maria Isabelle Salazar, chair of the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC), announced during the 4th RPOC9 meeting that road and traffic accidents topped the list of problems in the Western Mindanao region.
The mayor attributed most of the accidents to the concrete barriers set up by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
On Monday, she appealed anew to Public Works and Highways officials to intervene and ensure that all the unfinished road projects must have proper early signage to prevent the increasing number of traffic and road accidents, especially in the provinces of Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay and in this city.
“The fourth quarter regional peace and order council meeting identified traffic and road accidents as two major problems affecting the region’s peace and order. We would want a dialogue with the DPWH as well as to discuss the road barriers that are being put up without proper signage,” Salazar said.
How serious are these incidents? The mayor said based on the PNP’s report, road accidents are among the most common problems cited by authorities.
“One of the representatives of Zamboanga del Sur’s board member from Dumingag was asking the DPWH if they can just remove the barriers,” Salazar said. Representatives from the Sibugay province raised the same concern.
“In Zamboanga City, this is also what is being validated on the ground, that the common accidents that happened are in our national highways,” she said, citing the death of a school teacher a few weeks ago at the Baliwasan seaside due to concrete barriers for road widening projects.
Based on the report provided by Chief Supt. Emmanuel Licup, the regional director of the Police Regional Office 9 (PRO9), of the 10,343 crime volume from January to September 2018, some 3,852 are traffic accidents.
In 2017, Licup said the figures were higher at 4,573 cases. He said, “there was actually a drop of 22.39 percent if we compare 2017 statistics to this year, but this is still high considering the number of traffic incidents recorded every day.”
Licup agrees with the RPOC chair that the absence of warnings and signages are the reasons why traffic accidents are high in this region.
DPWH was tasked to come up with recommendations, Licup said.
The DPWH here said they clearance from the national government in Manila to remove the barriers. /ee
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