/ 21 November 2022

AT LEAST 1,670 children die yearly due to road crashes in the Philippines, public interest law group ImagineLaw said.

Citing data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, the group said that the public should be alarmed at the number of young people aged 0-19 who are killed in road crashes every year.

“Injuries and deaths due to road crashes are preventable,” Daphne Marcelo, ImagineLaw’s Project Manager for Road Safety, said during a mural unveiling for the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims at a children’s park in Manila.

In September this year, a 4-year-old girl was killed after being hit by a sports utility vehicle in Manila. In the same month, another 4-year-old child and his father were killed in a road crash in South Cotabato involving more than a dozen vehicles.

“The government, in partnership with stakeholders, should continue improving road infrastructure, updating policies and enforcing traffic laws to make sure they are inclusive of children’s safety,” Marcelo said.

“Playing outside or commuting to school should not be a death sentence for children,” she added.

Meanwhile, Robert Siy of transport group Move as One Coalition said that every road death is preventable. Siy added the road safety campaign in the country must continue until the number of those who die in road accidents is down to zero.

“Everyone–government and community leaders, parents and teachers, and road users–has a role to play in making our streets safe for children,” Marcelo said.

“Our road system should be designed to protect the lives of the most vulnerable road users such as children and pedestrians,” she added.