Press Release
October 2, 2019

Transcript of Sen. Grace Poe's Opening Statement
Public services hearing on remembrance of road crash victims and families
Oct. 2, 2019

Lahat ng lumaki ng '80s alam na may mga car chases- at car accidents ang mga staple sa mga action movies. Alam niyo na 'yan- hahabulin ng mga "goons" ang bida sa mga kalsada ng Maynila. Tapos yung bida, biglang liliko sa masikip na daanan, habang yung mga kontrabida, mababangga sa mga nakatambak na kariton.

Kahit si FPJ may eksenang ganyan. For example, the 1985 film Partida had a sequence of him chasing criminals through old Makati. Wala pa kasing masyadong trapik noon.

In real life, however, road accidents are neither as high-octane nor as glamorous. By our estimate, around 13 accidents occur every hour in Metro Manila, with each costing between P420,000 to P3.47 million. But even these numbers cannot tell the full cost of losing a lot more.

Noong 2017 may mga estudyante na patungo sa camping trip. Ngunit nawalan ng preno ang bus at bumangga sa poste. 14 ang namatay. One of the students who survived - Ariel Vergara - did so at the cost of a damaged spine. In that same year, 17 year old Kiester Nonan was driving a motorcycle without a helmet when he hit a uneven part of the San Mateo Road. He did not survive, depriving a father of a son.

This Committee proposes to honor these individuals by declaring the 3rd Sunday of November as the National Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims, Survivors, and their Families". On this day, road crash victims, survivors, and their families will be commemorated through religious mass services, designation of public spaces as memorials, blood donation campaigns, and other means.

Some may say that this bill is a band-aid solution for a problem of epidemic proportions. To these comments, the Committee responds that the substantive solutions to road accidents in the country are already contained in the proposed National Transportation Safety Board, which this representation already sponsored a few days ago, and in fact may be interpellated on this afternoon.

Second, we must not forget that remembrance is a precursor of justice. Remembering road crash victims, survivors, and their families will not only prevent them from becoming just another statistic. It will also preserve the call to justice for future generations. It will insulate their tragedy from political amnesia.

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