DEPARTMENT of Transportation (DOTr) Sec. Art Tugade called for cooperation and solidarity in the promotion of road safety during the Recognition of Road Safety Partners by the Land Transportation Office (LTO) Region 1, Thursday, (May 20, 2021).
Attended by more than 70 local government units (LGUs) in Region 1, the virtual recognition is in commemoration of Global Road Safety Week and is part of the Decade of Action for Road Safety.
In his message, Tugade stressed that road safety is one of the important campaigns of the DOTr with as many as 12,000 Filipinos losing their lives every year to road crashes according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
For Region 1 alone, according to the Land Transportation Office (LTO), almost 1,500 road crashes were recorded in 2020. Some 3,700 individuals were also involved in road crashes. Of those involved in road crashes, 177 were killed.
“Hihintayin pa ba natin na mahal natin sa buhay ang maaksidente, masugatan o mamatay? Kailangan bang makurot tayo ng tadhana? ‘Wag po. ‘Pagkat masakit ang mawalan ng mahal sa buhay. Meron ‘ho akong anak na namatay. Ang sakit pong bitbitin. He was then 12 years old, he should have been 46. But up to now, the pain and the hurt of realizing that my loved one is lost is bothering me, has been haunting me,” said Tugade.
“Ayaw ko na unworthy ang mga sasakyan. Ayaw ko ang driver na walang disiplina. Ayaw ko ang mga pedestrian na hindi sumusunod sa batas. Pag dumating si kamatayan at mahal natin sa buhay ang tamaan, malulungkot at maghihinagpis tayo. ‘Wag nating antayin ‘yun. Tama na ang mga aksidente. Tama na ‘yung patay. Tama na ang pag violate sa rules and regulations. Safety is important. Safety is non-negotiable,” the DOTr Secretary added.
Moreover, Tugade said local leaders have a bigger responsibility in advancing the safety and welfare of their constituents. He also urged the local chief executives of Region 1 to further push for road safety through strengthened cooperation with the DOTr and its attached agencies.
“Anuman ang gawin ng Kagawaran kasama ang LTO at LTFRB, kung hindi ‘ho makikipag kapit-bisig sa amin ang LGU, mahihirapan kami. Ngunit kung tayo’y magkakapit-bisig, ‘yung mahirap ay magiging madali, ‘yung problema ay mawawala. Kaya importanteng magsama-sama tayo,” the Transportation Chief said.
Tugade also told LGU officials that the DOTr supports the #Love30 campaign, which calls for motorists to drive at a slower speed, specifically 30 kilometers per hour, in crowded areas.
“Mayroong inilunsad na #Love30. Ito ay isang proyekto ng World Health Organization at United Nations na kung saan kinikilala nila na ang kikitil at tatagpas sa buhay ay ‘yung speed. Sana ho magtulungan tayo, hindi lang LTO o LTFRB, kasama natin ang pamahalaang lokal, kapit-bisig tayo. Because we alone cannot do it but together, with the LGU, we can make a difference,” Tugade stated.
Apart from promoting road safety in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sec. Art Tugade also emphasized the need to strictly adhere to health and safety protocols and understand the importance of vaccination.
“Dapat ‘wag nating kalimutan ngayong panahon ng pandemya – ng COVID-19 ‘yung mga tinatawag na health protocols. Usaren tayo ti (Gamiting natin ang) facemask. Usaren tayo ti (Gamiting natin ang) face shield. Maintain natin ‘yung social distancing. Haan tayo mangan (‘Wag tayo kumain), haan tayo ag sao (‘wag tayo magsalita), haan tayo duratatot habang agbyabyahe (‘wag tayong makipag-usap habang nagbibyahe) tayo on public transportation,” Sec. Art Tugade said.