Senate panel tackles bill on national day for remembering road crash victims

THE Senate Committee on Public Services chaired by Senator  Grace Poe is set to tackle several bills seeking to institutionalize a week every year to remember road crash victims today.

The hearing, set at 10 a.m., will be jointly presided by the Committee on Finance and the Committee on Constitutional Amendments and Revision of Codes.

Senate Bill No. 1069 filed by Poe seeks to designate the third week of November as “Linggo ng Pag-alala at Paghilom” for road crash victims, survivors and their families.

Similar bills were filed by Sens. Ralph Recto (SB 605), Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. (SB 1018), and Ronald dela Rosa (SB 1035).

“We need a time to remember and to acknowledge that more needs to be done to avoid more tragic loss of lives,” Poe said.

“The victims of road crashes call out to us to protect the motorists and commuters. We should respond to this call with hope, determination and resolution to prevent future tragedies,” Poe added.

In her bill, Poe cited the World Health Organization Global Status Report on Road Safety 2015, which said that the Philippines registers at least 10,379 annual road fatalities, which translates to 10.5 fatalities per 100,000 population per year.

Globally, an estimated 1.25 million people die from road crash every year, the report added.

“Oftentimes, the victims and survivors are reduced into mere statistics and only known by the numbers,” said Poe,  adding that the week of remembering will give the families of victims and survivors of road crash the chance to share how the devastating event has changed their lives.

The National Week of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims, Survivors and Families will raise awareness of the people on the causes, consequences and costs of road deaths and injuries, and strengthen advocacy to prevent such traumatic incidents and promote road safety through a collaborative platform that brings together various stakeholders.

Several activities may be organized by local government units during this week to remember road crash victims such as religious mass services, flower-laying ceremonies, blood donation campaign and public awareness campaign on road safety.

The local government units may also enact city or municipal ordinances for the designation of public spaces as a memorial tribute for victims and survivors.

The week may also be a time to recognize emergency and rescue personnel, volunteers and stakeholders.

The World Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims was first observed by the European group RoadPeace in 1993 and has since been held by non-government organizations in many countries.

On Oct. 26, 2005, the United Nations endorsed it as a global event to be observed every third Sunday of November each year.

From 2000, the Pope and other religious leaders remembered road victims worldwide on the third Sunday of November, calling it “World Day.”