Working together for a safe and efficient public transport system

Representatives from the government, private sector, NGOs and transport groups as well as road safety experts attended a conference at the Heritage Hotel Manila on December 9, 2009 with the theme "Working Together for a Safe and Efficient Public Transport". Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) sponsored the event.

The road safety conference organized by the Automobile Association Philippines (AAP), the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), the Land Transportation, Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and the University of the Philippines National Center for Transportation Studies (UP-NCTS) was another milestone in road safety initiatives, Rommel Gutierrez, TMP Vice President for Corporate Affair
said in his opening remarks. "Toyota, as the sponsor, greatly appreciates this initiative in sustaining the advocacy in road safety. Previous conferences have produced concrete results, one of which is the UP Road Traffic Model Zone. We hope that this conference for public transport will help us work together for safe and efficient public transport," he added.

The keynote speaker, DOTC Assistant Secretary for Road Transport Dante Lantin, commended the organizers for bringing together different transport groups and other stakeholders to make roads safer for all. "Road safety is a subject that needs to be tackled collectively and coordinatively with several fronts. And it requires a combination of initiatives and partnerships of people and organizations, among government and private, among young and old, through an approach that is not only local and national but also, global in scale," said Lantin.

The road safety conference featured presentations about the public utility vehicle (PUV) environment by Dr. Hilario Sean Palmiano, UP-NCTS Assistant Professor, motor vehicle inspection system and vehicle road worthiness by Joel Donato, Chief of North MVIS-LTO, licensing of PUV drivers and PUV registration by Betty Diaz, Chief of PUVRC-LTO and expressways in the Philippines by Dr. Ma. Catalina Cabral, Assistant Secretary for Planning, Department of Public Works and Highways.

The afternoon session of the conference resumed with presentations on traffic and transport management for public transport by Antonio Pagulayan, head of the Metro Manila Development Authority Organized Bus Route Project, fleet management by Dr. Ricardo Yanson, president of Vallacar Transit, duties and responsibilities of public transport operators by Emmanuel Mahipus, LTFRB Executive Director and standards and performance evaluation by LTFRB Chairman Alberto Suansing.

The last part of the conference was highlighted by the signing of the pledge of commitment and support to the road safety programs and projects. The pledge embodies the full commitment and support to road safety programs and projects of the LTFRB and the DOTC given by the government, private sector and transport groups.

The event was the ninth TMP-sponsored conference organized by AAP and UP-NCTS. The first road safety partnership conference was held in 2005. The series of conferences resulted in the planning and implementation of various road safety initiatives such as a public information campaign promoting road safety, the 24/7 Road Safety Call Center, the UP Dliman Traffic Safety Model Zone project and training sessions for public utility vehicle drivers.



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