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Road deaths double in 2016 – DOTr

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) presented data from the police Highway Patrol Group showing road deaths more than doubled last year compared to that in 2015. File

MANILA, Philippines — Transport officials yesterday expressed alarm over the increasing number of fatal road accidents in the country.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) presented data from the police Highway Patrol Group showing road deaths more than doubled last year compared to that in 2015.

In a road safety forum, the DOTr said a total of 2,144 people died in road crashes in 2016, which is 106 percent higher than the 1,040 deaths in 2015.

The number of road crashes in the Philippines also increased by 31 percent from the 24,656 in 2015 to 32,269 in 2016. More crashes happened during daytime.

“This is really a major concern that we have to address and these road-safety initiatives… will be implemented and our targets of reducing, if not clearly eliminating road crashes would be realized,” DOTr Assistant Secretary Arnold Fabillar said.

Fabillar however emphasized the number of road crash deaths has increased by only three percent from 2006 to 2015.

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Citing the Philippine Development Plan for road crashes, Fabillar said the inadequate road safety features in the country is one of the main problems contributing to less competitive state of road infrastructure as compared to other Asian countries.

He also mentioned the need to enhance the Philippines’ infrastructure including its connectivity, mobility and safety.

Fabillar said the government is now making efforts to minimize the number fatal road crashes.

These include the modernization of the public utility vehicle (PUV) and the implementation of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, which targets to decongest major thoroughfares in Metro Manila.

As far as PUV modernization is concerned, Fabillar said they target to implement it by early next year while the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) has already approved the budget for the BRT system.

The BRT will be initially introduced in Cebu City, Fabillar added.

Apart from the two major projects the DOTr is working on, Fabillar said the department will launch the 2017 Road Safety Comprehensive Plans (PRSAP) on Nov. 19, to address road safety problems in the Philippines with a P4-million budget.

He said the 2017 PRSAP targets to achieve zero casualty in road crashes by 2022.

The main recommendation of the DOTr is to establish a national road safety unit and the need to reconstitute inter-agency road safety council, Fabillar said.

The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and its International Training Center for Authorities and Leaders in the Philippines (CIFAL Philippines) through the help of the global alcohol company Diageo and the University of the Philippines started yesterday the two-day “Road Safety for Sustainable Cities” in Quezon City.

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