Solon: Private-public collaboration needed to address road safety crisis
The Philippine government, as well as the public, should “strongly collaborate” to solve the worsening road safety crisis in the country, a lawmaker pressed on Wednesday.
Catanduanes Rep. Cesar Sarmiento, chair of the House committee on transportation, noted that road crashes have killed 1.3 million people worldwide every year, and an average of 31 people a day in the Philippines, as of the end of 2016.
Sarmiento said what makes this issue frustrating “is that these road crashes are, supposed to be, predictable and preventable yet we cannot address this issue squarely and significantly.”
“Despite our efforts for years now, the number of people who died have increased. The 11,274 figure in 2016 of people who died in road crashes is a 64% increase compared to the number of road crash deaths in 2006, [more than] 10 years ago,” the lawmaker said during his opening speech at a House hearing.
Sarmiento said he visited New York last April 12, 2018, to deliver the official statement of the Philippines during the United Nations General Assembly Debate on Improving Global Road Safety.
During the said UN debate, he said Resolution 72/271 was passed where the UN itself acknowledged that, at the current rate of progress, “the Sustainable Development Goal of reducing to half the number of global road crash deaths by 2020 will not be met.”
“This is a very sad reality—we cannot meet the target since road crash statistics remain high among many nations, including the Philippines,” he lamented.
The congressman from the lone district of Catanduanes has also called on Congress, various law enforcement agencies, the private sector, road safety advocates, motoring organizations, the World Health Organization and even the victims and their families, to zero in on this issue.
“Now more than ever, we need to strongly collaborate and bring everyone on board—we in Congress,” he said.
“We need the inputs and actions of the agencies and the private sector on issues on enforcement, formulation and coordination of road safety policies, ensuring quality drivers and roadworthy vehicles, conduct of investigations and emergency response and road safety education and observance of road safety events which can address the issue on a cultural level,” he added. /jpv
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