By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
The Senate Committee on Public Services has endorsed for approval the bill that would declare a day of remembrance for victims and survivors of road crashes and their families.
Sen. Grace Poe, committee chairman, on Tuesday afternoon sponsored Senate Bill No. 1122 seeking to declare every third Sunday of November as the “National Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims, Survivors, and their Families.”
“We must not forget that remembrance is a precursor of justice. Remembering road crash victims, survivors, and their families will not only prevent them from becoming just another statistic,” Poe said in her speech.
“It will also preserve the call to justice for future generations. It will insulate their tragedy from political amnesia,” she added.
In her report, Poe said there is a need for breathalyzers to aid law enforcers in dealing with incidents of drunk driving.
The results of the breathalyzers could also serve as evidence in court cases against violators.
She also mentioned the lack or absence of traffic enforcers on the streets during late night or at dawn when most accidents occur.
She also said that enforcers are not given hazard pay when they also become victims of road accidents.
Co-sponsoring the bill was Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, who said that the commemoration day will also remind motorists about safety practices, as well as the government to do its job to prevent road accidents.
“Culture also shapes behavior. When society is blanketed with reminders to drive safe, which likewise serves as a commandment to the government to create the right environment, then these practices seep into the national consciousness,” Recto said.
On the proposed National Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims, Survivors and their Families, various activities shall be held to commemorate victims, survivors, and their families. These include religious mass services, designation of public spaces as memorials, and blood donation campaigns, among others.
“It can be used as an occasion to pray for the dead, but more so to push for good policies for the living,” Recto said.
According to the Metro Manila Development Authority, there had been 101,428 road accidents in Metro Manila in 2018.
Each road accident costs up to P3.47 million, said the University of the Philippines National Center for Transport Studies.