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Pacman is bike safety role model

MANILA, Philippines - Boxing icon Manny Pacquiao will help the Philippine National Police (PNP) promote awareness on helmet use for motorcycle riders following an increase in the number of accidents involving bikers.

A popular and an effective commercial model, Pacquiao has been endorsing sports apparel, medicine, food and beverages, and even beauty services.

PNP Highway Patrol Group (HPG) spokesman Superintendent Edwin Butacan said the boxing champ offered to help them and will not ask for a talent fee.

“He (Pacquiao) initially agreed to help us for free and it’s not an infomercial, it’s just an endorsement of PNP’s ‘no helmet-no travel’ campaign,” said Butacan.

Aside from being a world boxing champion, Pacquiao is also known for engaging in other sports, among them bike riding. He is the president of the Barracuda Biker’s Association in General Santos City.

Pacquiao recently visited the HPG headquarters in Camp Crame to thank the officials for allowing its members to be his escorts on some occasions.

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PNP spokesman Senior Superintendent Leonardo Espina expressed optimism that Pacquiao’s involvement in their advocacy would encourage motorists to use helmets.

Espina said Pacquiao personally brought up the idea of endorsing the helmet-use advocacy during a discussion with PNP-HPG officials in Camp Crame on Monday.

“It is a fact that there are many civilian motorcycle riders who are not using helmets. It resulted in serious head injuries and even death every time accidents occur,” Espina told reporters in a press briefing at Camp Crame. “So he (Pacquiao) volunteered to be a role model in the use of helmets for all bike riders. It would impress upon motorcycle riders that proper wearing of helmets could save lives,” he added.

Based on HPG records, some 7,000 motorcycles are being produced weekly nationwide. Many motorists chose motorcycles because of lower fuel consumption and their relatively low cost.

With the large number of motorcycles on the streets 24 hours a day, Butacan said there is a need for road safety information dissemination.

“The target of the infomercial for helmet use will be those in the provinces because here in Metro Manila most of the motorcycle riders are aware of the need to use helmets,” Butacan said.

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