DOH lauds P5B allotment for active transport

DOH lauds P5B allotment for active transport

By: - Reporter / @dexcabalzaINQ
/ 04:45 AM May 15, 2024

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MANILA, Philippines — Biking and walking have gained another ally in government with the Department of Health (DOH) expressing its support for these and other modes of active transport because of their positive effects on one’s health and the environment.

“The appropriation and investment of more than P5 billion in the planning and implementation of active transport infrastructure is welcome progress, as active transport can mitigate the increase of noncommunicable disease (NCD) conditions like diabetes and obesity, provide resilience to instability in fossil fuel prices, and empower Filipinos to pursue sustainable lifestyles against climate change,” the DOH said in a recent statement.


READ: DOH: Pedestrians, cyclists ‘highest priority in hierarchy of road users’


It noted that around 1.35 million people die worldwide due to road traffic accidents and another 50 million are injured annually, making road safety not just a national issue but also worldwide concern.

Based on DOH data, road traffic accidents are the leading cause of death worldwide for children age 5 to 14 and young adults between 15 and 29 years old. It said that around 12,000 Filipinos die yearly due to road crashes, a figure that has steadily increased in the last decade.

Alarming trend

In 2023, 31.1 percent of the reported injuries were due to transport or vehicular crashes. The DOH noted as “even more alarming” the consistent upward trend in the number of road crash incidents as motor vehicle usage and ownership increased.

Citing the World Health Organization, it said road infrastructure has traditionally focused on motorized transport and economic efficiency but not so much on safety, particularly for pedestrians, cyclists and commuters.

“Road infrastructure and urban planning that place pedestrian and cyclist safety first are among the most cost-effective interventions for better road safety outcomes,” it said.

“This not only reduces preventable crashes and related injuries and deaths, but also makes our roads more accessible to all, improving access to transport and mobility for almost 90 percent of Filipinos who do not use cars,” it added.


“As the chair of the Interagency Technical Working Group on Active Transport, the DOH remains steadfast in its pursuit to improve the awareness, understanding and attitude of Filipinos toward road safety, and to promote and protect the health of each Filipino through active transport and a safe environment,” it said.

Based on a 2020 survey from the Social Weather Stations and DOH, 87 percent of Filipinos agreed that roads in cities and municipalities would be better if public transportation, bikes, and pedestrians were prioritized over private vehicles.

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TAGS: bikes, DoH, pedestrians, traffic accidents, WHO

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