Sen. Grace Poe said road tragedies are grim reminders that road safety lapses must be immediately addressed to save lives.
In her sponsorship speech of Senate Bill No. 1122 (Committee Report No. 15) or the proposed National Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims, Survivors and their Families Act, Poe called for urgent action “to minimize the ramifications of road crash incidents.”
“We must not forget that remembrance is a precursor of justice. Remembering road crash victims, survivors, and their families will not only prevent them from becoming just another statistic. It will also preserve the call to justice for future generations. It will insulate their tragedy from political amnesia,” Poe, Chair Of The Committee On Public Services, said.
“Ang mga biktima ng aksidente sa kalsada ay hindi lang nadisgrasya, patuloy na pineperwisyo pa. Ang ilan nga ay nagkabaon-baon na sa utang dahil sa pagpapa-ospital na hindi man lang nabigyan ng ni-sinkong tulong ng nakabangga,” she added.
Poe said there is need for new breathalyzers to aid enforcers in dealing with incidents of drunk driving. This will also serve as evidence to bolster court cases against violators.
The report revealed the lack or absence of traffic enforcers on the streets during late night or at dawn, where a number of accidents occur.
It also bared that there is no budget for hazard pay for traffic enforcers, who sometimes become victims themselves of road accidents.
During the Senate hearing, survivors and victims narrated their harrowing experience from the road crash incident, including a doctor who lost a child because of a drunk driver and a parking attendant who was a victim of hit-and-run.
There was also a mother whose son died in a motorcycle accident and a nurse who survived a three-truck smashup.
The proposed National Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims, Survivors and their Families Act seeks to declare every 3rd Sunday of November as the commemoration day of crash victims and survivors.
On this day, road crash victims, survivors, and their families will be commemorated through religious mass services, designation of public spaces as memorials, blood donation campaigns, and other means.
Poe earlier sponsored the proposed creation of the National Transportation Safety Board that would investigate land, air and sea accidents in the country. The bill is in the period of interpellation in plenary.
There were 101,428 road accidents in Metro Manila in 2018, according to the Metro Manila Development Authority.
Each road accident costs up to PhP3.47 million, according to the University of the Philippines National Center for Transport Studies. (senate.gov.ph)