To avoid endless and wasteful experimentations, Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has proposed the creation of a specialized institute that would conduct empirical-based research, planning and development of road safety programs across the country.
De Lima has filed Senate Bill (SB) No. 1897 which seeks to create the Philippine Road Safety Institute (PRSI) to look closely into the myriad aspects of road and transportation safety situation in the Philippines.
“Road safety is a problem in the country, especially in highly-urbanized areas. It is considered a public health issue, having contributed significantly to the mortality rate,” she said.
World Health Organization noted that pedestrians make up 19 percent of road deaths in the Philippines, with road crash incidents caused by driver error, defective vehicle condition and bad road condition.
Fatalities due to road crashes have also increased by almost 14.6 percent each year, according to the Department of Transportation.
Under her proposed measure, to be known as the “Philippine Road Safety Institute Act of 2018,” De Lima noted that PRSI would be attached under the University of the Philippines National Center for Transport Studies (UP NCTS).
This arrangement would allow the university-based center for transport studies to provide empirical-based expertise and technical competency in road safety and transportation, the Senator from Bicol explained.
While there are already existing programs implemented by the DOTr that aim to improve transportation management, De Lima noted there is still no existing institute in the country that looks closely in improving road safety infrastructures.
“The PSRI mandate shall cover all aspects of road safety situation in the country,” said De Lima, who now chairs the Senate social justice, welfare and rural development committee.
Under SB No. 1897, De Lima explains the mandate of the proposed PRSI: to regularly collect data pertinent to road safety, develop road safety policy framework, recommend legislation and promulgation of necessary rules and standards to be adopted by government agencies, and develop road safety annual reports and related study, among others. Once approved into law, the PRSI is authorized to engage researchers and other professional staff from other government offices and agencies to conduct specialized studies and researches for the PRSI.