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Cebu News

Road accidents double in Cebu City

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — From an average of 200 per month, the number of vehicular accidents in Cebu City has ballooned to about 400 and even as far as 500 during the early months of this year.

“It increased to 400 accidents, and I think almost 500 during this early months (of 2022). Based on the data that we have from January to July, this is roughly 13 accidents per day,” said CCTO executive director Paul Gotiong.

Gotiong spoke at the opening of the Mobility Summit in Cebu City yesterday.

According to him, among the major causes of road accidents in Cebu City are over-speeding, disregard of traffic signs, and drunk driving.

“Vehicle accidents are one of the major factors that cause traffic congestion. There will always be a slowdown of movement and it takes sometimes to even more than an hour or two and most significant effect for this is the economic loss that it entails,” said Gotiong.

How much does each road crash cost?

Gotiong said that from a recent study in 2014 that was based in Manila, “at least P3.5 million was lost in terms of labor output, medical costs, funeral expenses, property damage and the rest is for the social cost of pain, grief, suffering, repairs.”

“But the most significant number is that we have about 100 billion pesos of opportunity or business losses,” he stressed.

Gotiong said that the Cebu City government, through its transportation office, has identified eight major concerns affecting mobility in the city.

“We have around eight situations — that’s increase volume of vehicles, lack of public transport, increasing number of accident,  inaccessible sidewalks,  Cebu’s flooding problem, parking problem, absence of Cebu City traffic command center and the drivers lack of respect to traffic signs,” he said.

Gotiong shared a recent report from the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (CAMPI) and truck manufacturers association that the average monthly vehicle sales in the country rose from around 25,000 units to now 30,000 units.

“This is a bit high. I think it actually doubled. Cebu City attracts 3.5 million commuters with 1.25 million coming from Cebu City… The difference is that it is mostly passing from the neighboring cities like Mandaue and Talisay,” said Gotiong.

Cebu City accordingly also has the highest trips per day with around 80% of private vehicles occupying the roads here and only 10% for public transport.

Officials, thus, agree that there is, indeed, a lack of transport.

“During the start of the year and businesses and reopening, there is an increasing demand for public transport,” said Gotiong.

The waiting time for PUVs are prolonged, especially during night times. This trend is expected to increase in the coming months due to the face-to-face classes going full swing, as well as the holiday season.

Also, lesser trips by modern ships or any public transport during night time have been noted.

Inaccessibility or the inaccessible sidewalks are also a problem here.

“In building a balanced setting, the presence of accessible sidewalks is very important for safety and not just for pedestrians but for computers as well. Most importantly, for our children, the elderly and PWDs (to have) walkable sidewalks. We should encourage people to walk more,” Gotiong said.

The flooding problem also creates traffic congestion for hours due to impassable roads.

On the problem of parking, there are over 2,600 spaces for vehicle on-street parking around the city, excluding those parking spaces inside the building establishments.

CCTO records 300 to 500 vehicles illegally parked everyday.

With this, a very good solution to find alternative parking spaces like parking buildings is expected.

The absence of a Cebu City Traffic Command Center is also hoped to be solved already.

“Having a traffic command center equipped with a modern light traffic system and CCTV plays a  vital part in our  traffic management system, especially in a highly urbanized city like Cebu. These are the eyes of the traffic management team where we can we can easily see if there's an accident or find solutions if there are congestion in the specific area,” said Gotiong.

He added that the drivers’ lack of respect to traffic signs is also a problem  .

“During the start of Mayor Michael Rama’s administration, CCTO stepped up its apprehensions in the thrust in making Cebu City Singapore-like,” he said.

Since the start of CCTO’s campaign to discipline and put order in the streets, CCTO has apprehended a total of 36,648 vehicles from July 1 to September 15 of this year alone.

Rama, for his part, said he expects that all participants of the summit will be able to contribute something to solve the traffic problem here being “thinkers, doers and movers” for a Singapore-like Cebu City. — JMD (FREEMAN)

ACCIDENT

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