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Recto wants road user's tax used for motorists' safety

Recto also cites a 21% rise in the number of car accidents based on data from the Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG).
METRO MANILA,June 30, 2015 — Road accidents claim one life every 21 hours in Metro Manila and the "alarming" number has prompted Sen. Ralph Recto to call for the effective use of the road user's tax for the safety of motorists.

"[With] one accident happening every 6 minutes, and with one fatality every 21 hours just in NCR alone… [the road user’s tax] must now be optimized in the campaign to keep roads and motorists safe," Senate President Pro-Tempore said Sunday (June 28) citing data from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).

The senator also called for an itemization of how the money paid by car owners will be spent.

The law on the Motor Vehicle User’s Charge (RA 8794), mandates that 7.5% of collections from the road user’s tax should be allocated for road safety initiatives.

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) could access the "Special Road Safety Fund" amounting to P1.04 billion, the senator said.

The Department of Transportation and Communications, on the other hand, could access an P802 million fund for anti-pollution programs.

Other allocations of the MVUC include 80% for the "Special Road Support Fund," 5% for the "Special Local Road Fund," and 7.5% for the "Special Vehicle Pollution Control Fund."
'Tip of the iceberg'

The MMDA data isn't the only information that alarmed the senator.

Recto also cited a 21% rise in the number of car accidents based on data from the Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) — from 12,875 in 2013 to 15,572 in 2014.

But for him, this is merely the tip of the iceberg. According to Recto, the MMDA recorded 90,258 road accidents last year in Metro Manila alone.

Out of the number, 73,175 caused damage to property, 16,665 resulted in nonfatal injuries, and 418 ended in deaths.

With the statistics, Recto emphasized that the more than a billion budget for road safety should not be exclusively used for infrastructure projects such as installing "traffic signals, markings, lanes, traffic channelization techniques, traffic calming measures."

He said the budget could also be used for road safety education and training programs.

The senator further said that emergency accident response equipment such as the "jaws of life" could be purchased.

The tool can be used to cut metal to help extricate passengers out of crashed vehicles.

"[S]a EDSA na lang, ni isang well-equipped rapid emergency medical team wala kang makikita, e kung tutuusin daang milyong piso ang binabayad sa MVUC ng mga libu-libong sasakyan na regular na dumadaan doon," Recto said.

[Translation: In EDSA alone, you can’t see even one well-equipped rapid emergency medical team, considering that hundreds of million is paid for MVUC by thousands of cars passing there.]

CNN Philippines
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