In the Philippines, there are around 35 road crash fatalities happening per day or an estimated 12,690 fatalities in a year. To tackle this issue, UNICEF Philippines, Safe Kids Worldwide Philippines (SKWP), University of the Philippines – National Center for Transportation Studies (UP-NCTS) and local and national authorities are implementing a Child Road Traffic Injury Prevention CRTIP program. The programme targets high-risk schools in the country, aiming to contribute to national goals of reducing road traffic deaths as embodied in the Philippine Road Safety Action Plan (2017 – 2022).

CRTIP aims to make roads safer for children in the Philippines by developing models for child road traffic safety programs, strengthening data collection and analysis, improving road safety laws and policies, enhancing multisectoral action for children’s safety, and improving road safety education for school children.

A total of 66 schools have been assessed with SR4S in the pilot areas of Valenzuela and Zamboanga City, with plans to scale up assessments in the rest of Metro Manila and Region 9. Dr. Jose Regin F. Regidor of UP-NCTS, said it is important to assess road quality to check its safety. “There are plenty of factors, like infrastructure and traffic, which we need to assess to know how we can improve our walking environment. Most of our students walk to and from school. Their safety is critical.”

Thanks to the efforts of CRTIP, four of the assessed schools have been upgraded.

The project also included other road safety activities, such as an interactive learning session on basic road safety tips and a practical exercise where children were guided on the streets to apply their learnings and develop skills on how to better protect themselves while on the road.

UNICEF Philippines and its partners in the CRTIP program express their appreciation to the City Governments of Valenzuela and Zamboanga, and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). Their cooperation was crucial for the implementation of necessary interventions to make the road environment safer for our children.

Image credit above: Safe Kids Worldwide Philippines