P106B lost to road crashes per year, says road safety group
CEBU CITY –– At least P105.7 billion is lost to fatal road crashes in the country every year, according to data presented by a civil society organization.
Lawyer Natasha Daphne Marcelo of ImagineLaw said the figure was taken from their group’s estimate of P5.7 billion worth of direct medical expenses plus the P100 billion in opportunity losses from road crashes.
During a recent workshop for journalists held in Casiguran, Sorsogon, the road safety advocate group computed the socio-economic cost based on the reported road crashes of 11,360 deaths in 2017.
In the Philippines, at least one person dies from a road crash every hour or about 11,360 people in 2017. This dwarfs the deaths due to dengue which is only 732 in the same year.
In Bicol region alone, a conservative estimate of P2.5 billion was lost due to deaths from road crashes.
Marcelo said a single fatal road crash incident cost P3.5 million in terms of labor output, medical costs, funeral expenses, and property damage.
Aside from that, Marcelo said P506,000 is added for the social cost of pain, grief, and suffering.
An additional P76,000 is also used for the cost of vehicle repairs too.
Marcelo said the amount could have been used for purchasing road safety equipment, installation or repair of dilapidated road signs, among others.
ImagineLaw and the Peace and Conflict Journalism Network gathered journalists from Bicol region, Visayas, and Mindanao last week in Casiguran, Sorsogon Province for a reporting workshop on road safety.
Both organizations are advocating the creation of localized speed limits which they believe to be a solution to the increasing number of road crashes in the Philippines.
They said that people should also refrain from using “road accident” because road crash incidents are never accidental.
ImagineLaw is assisting several local government units in drafting and enacting their ordinances on the speed limit.
In 2018, the road safety advocate group partnered with the Land Transportation Office, and the Department of Transportation to pursue such endeavors.
The group also led the campaign “#SlowDownToSaveLives” for the Philippines.
In the global setting, the group cited data from the World Health Organization which estimated 1.35 million deaths from road crashes or about one person dying every 24 seconds.
ImagineLaw also said the leading causes of road crash deaths in the Philippines are speeding; drunk driving or driver impairment; and the non-use of restraints, seatbelts, and helmets.
Those involved in road crashes are mostly males aged 15 to 29./lzb
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