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Friday, March 1, 2019

LTO Hosts Road Safety Congress in Mindanao


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The Department of Transportation—Land Transportation Office (DOTr-LTO), in partnership with various government agencies, the private sector, and various road safety advocacy groups, successfully held the first Road Safety Congress on 27-28 February, 2019 in Zamboanga City.

The two-day event is part of the LTO Region IX’s Road Safety Program dubbed as Partnership for Enhanced Road Safety (PERS). With the theme “Making our roads safer through convergence,” the program promotes a unified, holistic, and proactive approach to address road safety issues in the region.

During the Congress proper, LTO chief Assistant Secretary Edgar C. Galvante expressed the agency’s eagerness in hosting the event.

“We are very excited to have this activity. Hindi nare-realize ng karamihan na itong mga nangyayari na injuries, deaths, mas marami ang nanggagaling sa aksidente, sa road crashes,” the LTO chief said.

Previously, Asec. Galvante directed all LTO Regional Offices to institute their respective road safety programs to address the spate of road crashes nationwide.

DOTr Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Atty. Reinier Paul R. Yebra, who represented DOTr Secretary Arthur P. Tugade, stated in his keynote address that the event is a good platform because of the basket of solutions which may be generated by each organization involved.

“Road safety is a shared responsibility. ‘Yan ‘ho ang top priority ng DOTr—ang kaligtasan ng mga commuters, passenger at lahat-lahat. Ngayon na po ang panahon na kung saan ang mga drivers ay dapat mag-ingat hindi dahil sa takot na mahuli o ma-penalize, kundi dahil sila ay may tunay na malasakit sa mga pedestrians at commuters,” Usec. Yebra said.

LTO Region IX Regional Director (RD) Aminola Abaton added that the joint efforts of all parties during the Road Safety Congress will push for the safety and security of the young generation.

“It’s about time that we put road safety in the frontline. It should be the prime fight to ensure that the children will be safe. Bahagi po iyan ng kampanya ng ating convergence, at nangyari na po iyan dahil sa pagsasama-sama, sa paniniwala po na kung anong krusada natin pagdating sa road safety, dapat po nating maituloy,” RD Abaton said.

The event was highlighted by the expression of Solidarity Messages and the signing of the “Pledge of Commitment for Safer Roads through Convergence” led by Zamboanga City Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar, who expressed the City’s full support for the initiative. Government sector representatives who also signed the Pledge include Zamboanga City 1st District Representative Celso L. Lobregat; Former Zamboanga City Mayor Manuel Dalipe; Zamboanga Economic Zone Chairman Christopher Lawrence Arnuco; PRO 9 Regional Director PCSUPT Emmanuel Luis Delgado Licup; and representatives from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Health (DOH), and the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Non-government organizations and private sector signatories included UNICEF Representative Dr. Angelito Umali, Former LTO Assistant Secretary and Global Road Safety Partnership Philippines Secretary General Alberto H. Suansing, Stradcom Corporation President and CEO Anthony K. Quiambao, Imagine Law Executive Director Atty. Sophia Monica V. San Luis, representatives from different transport groups, and students of different colleges and universities in Region 9.

During the program proper, the PERS Program and the Road Safety Module were launched. Solidarity messages and testimonies from road crash survivors were also delivered, while a role-playing demonstration of the Module was conducted as well. The winner of the Banner Making Contest was also announced.

A workshop was also held to thresh out issues and concerns, and draw out possible strategies, programs, activities and projects on the five (5) pillars of road safety: 1) education; 2) enactment of laws; 3) emergency response; 4) enforcement; and 5) engineering. The issues and solutions presented were collated for possible implementation.
The second day of the event highlighted the “Walk for Road Safety” parade, participated in by students from different schools, government agencies, and road safety advocacy and transport groups.

After the event, Zamboanga City Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar announced that the City will issue an Executive Order declaring 28 February as Road Safety Day.

“We are very happy with the outcome of the two-day event. Aside from Zamboanga City’s commitment, the UNICEF has also declared its eagerness to mass produce the Module,” RD Abaton expressed.

DepEd also showed its eagerness to integrate the “Student’s Today, Road Users Tomorrow” (STRUT) road safety module, developed by LTO Region 5, in the Region 9 K-12 curriculum. A quarterly road safety drill will also be held in the Region.

“The LTO is enthusiastic that the road safety agenda will finally be put in the government’s platform. Ito ang simula ng mas pinaigting na kampanya para isulong ang kaligtasan sa ating mga lansangan,” RD Abaton emphasized.

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