THE House of Representatives, voting 234-0 without abstention, has approved on third and final reading a bill seeking to declare the third Sunday of November every year as the “National Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims, Survivors, and Their Families” to ensure its meaningful observance.
House Bill (HB) No. 4611 is authored by House committee on transportation chairman Rep. Edgar Mary Sarmiento of Samar, Deputy Majority Leader Rep. Ria Christina Fa riñas of Ilocos Norte and Rep. Rudys Caesar Fariñas of PROBINSYANO AKO Party-list.
The authors noted that the number of road crash deaths have been rising in the country since 2006, despite the country’s goal to halve them by 2020.
According to the authors, giving significance to the ‘World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims’ commemorates the millions killed or injured in road accidents and pays tribute to the dedicated emergency crews, police and medical professionals who deal with the traumatic aftermath of road death and injury.
Erwin Matias Paala, a hit and run victim and President of the Families of Road Victims and Survivors (FRVS), said with the help of Undersecretary Lisa Grace Bersales of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), they were able to secure a complete 11-year database of road accidents from years 2006 to 2016 which showed road crash as the Top 1 Cause of Death from 2012 to 2016 for youth aged 15 to 20, and the Top 1 Cause of Death from 2013 to 2016 for youth aged 20 to 24.
Paala said the PSA data also showed the Top 20 areas in terms of number of deaths caused by road crash from 2006 to 2017. These are : 1) Metro Manila 5,314 ; 2) Pangasinan 4,487; 3) Davao del Sur 3,647; 4) Nueva Ecija 3,587; 5) Negros Occidental 3,444; 6) Cebu 3,193; 7) Isabela 3,176; 8) Batangas 3,051; 9) Bulacan 2,821; 10) Bukidnon 2,547; 11) Cagayan 2,477; 12) Iloilo 2,473; 13) Pampanga 2,428; 14) Laguna 2,369; 15) Camarines Sur 2,307; 16) Misamis Oriental 2,297; 17) Quezon 2,289 18) Cavite 2,286; 19) South Cotabato 2,266; and 20) Leyte 2,192. The bill provides that each municipality or city may enact an ordinance or resolution to designate a public space that shall serve as a memorial tribute for road crash victims, survivors and their families.
The National Day of Remembrance, the Secretary of the Department of Transportation (DoTr) shall be mandated to implement an annual program of activities, together with the launch of a road safety advocacy campaign. The bill likewise requires the Transportation Secretary to solicit support from other government agencies, non-government organization and local government units in the preparation and full implementation of the National Day of Remembrance.