INTERIOR and Local Government Secretary Eduardo M. Año has a fatherly advice to members of the Philippine National Police during the 64th founding anniversary of the PNP Highway Patrol Group yesterday: “Huwag kayong mangangaliwa.”
However, the DILG chief was not referring to the philandering ways of some police officers and men but on the need for them to always follow traffic rules and regulations.
“Inarguably, one of the pressing problems that continues to persist in our society is lack of discipline. No matter how hard we try to enforce and implement existing laws, our aim of achieving road safety and lesser incidence of road-related accidents will be far from realization if we do not start within ourselves,” the top DILG honcho said in a statement read for him by his classmate from Philippine Military Academy Class 1983, DILG Assistant Secretary Manuel B. Felix.
“Discipline or “disiplina”—isa ito sa mga salitang madalas nating naririnig at ginagamit sa ating propesyon at tungkulin. Ngunit ano ng aba ang ibig sabihin nito? Ang disiplina ay pagsunod sa batas. Ito ay ang pagtanggap ng pagkakamali. Ito ay pananagutan sa ating pagkakasala. At higit sa lahat, ang disiplina ay ang paggawa ng tama at mabuti, may nakakakita man o wala,” he said.
The DILG chief issued the statement during the PNP-HPG’s anniversary with the theme ‘Disiplina at Pagsunod sa Batas, Susi sa Daang Ligtas’ as the HPG headed by Brigadier General Roberto B. Fajardo is now focusing more on road safety and security, mandated not to just enforce traffic laws but also to help safeguard the public from criminals and prevent robbery, assault and car theft in the streets.
“Tulad nga ng sabi nila, “Right lane must turn right.” Kaya huwag kayong mangangaliwa, este kumaliwa. Dahil iyan ang ikakapahamak nyo,” he said.
“Kidding aside, discipline should start from within us. It must begin in small things, such as following traffic rules and regulations, heeding road signs and symbols, wearing seatbelts, ensuring the roadworthiness of our vehicles, using pedestrian lanes and footbridges, and respecting our traffic enforcers and authorities, among other things,” the DILG chief said.
Records showed that despite the significant reduction in car theft cases, road accidents are increasing in the country with nearly 34 Filipinos nationwide dying every day because of tragic road accidents which account for the main cause of death among Filipino youths aged 15 to 19.
The DILG chief said that there had been over 3,700 road accidents around Metro Manila over the last three months causing almost P4 billion total economic loss and societal harm.
Road traffic collisions have sharply increased over the last three years from almost 15,600 in 2015 to over 26,000 in 2017, he said.
The PNP-HPG traces its roots 63 years ago when then President Ramon Magsaysay Sr. and First Lady Luz Banzon Magsaysay visited the Funeraria Nacional to offer the deepest sympathies of the nation to the bereaved families of Samar Congressman Gregorio Tan and Albay Cong. Lorenzo Ziga, both members of the 3rd Congress who were killed in a tragic road mishap in a Pampanga highway.
During the ensuing brief but fervent discussion between President Magsaysay and other Congress leaders headed by Speaker Jose B. Laurel, the officials hatched a plan to establish a ‘specialized and dedicated’ police unit that will safeguard the country’s highways and keep it safe and secure from all road users.