People and the Community

Road Safety Takes Centerstage in Safe Kids Worldwide Philippines-SM Event


IMG_5946In a bid to reverse grim statistics on road traffic crashes, SM Prime Holdings Inc. has partnered with road safety advocates to bring back security in the streets.

This week, SM Supermalls and SM Cares in partnership with Safe Kids Worldwide Philippines (SKWP), Safe Kids Worldwide Network, Global Alliance of NGOs for Road Safety, Motorcycle Development Program Participants Association, Inc. and the World Health Organizations have lined a series of activities that will promote and call on all stakeholders to implement the SaveLives #SlowDown campaign that aims to reduce motor vehicle speeds to save lives.

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The program will bring together stakeholders from government as well as non-government organizations, policy makers, teachers, parents, students, drivers, motorcyclists and media to educate them on the importance of road safety and the need to address the grim statistics in recent years.

The event will start at 3:30 pm on Thursday, May 11, 2017 at the Music Hall of Asia with an advocacy walk followed by a short program which will highlight the call for speed management where National and local government officials and attendees will pledge their commitment to the campaign by signing the SaveLives#SlowDown signboard.

Recent data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed that road traffic crashes kill an average of 34 Filipinos in a day and is the main cause of death for youngsters aged 15 to 19 years.

Worldwide, an estimated 1.25 million die and over 50 million are injured on road crashes annually and by 2020, road traffic crashes  are expected to increase by 80% in low and middle income countries due to increasing motorization.

In order to enforce speed management and road safety, SKWP will also ask the commitment of local governments on the SaveLives #SlowDown campaign through the promulgation of appropriate ordinances in their own cities and barangays to implement speed limits.

International organizations like the World Health Organization, UNICEF and Asian Development Bank are also expected to join the event which will also coincide with the worldwide Fourth United Nations Global Road Safety Week on May 8 to 14, 2017.

In 2011, the World Health Organization launched the Decade of Action for Road Safety prescribing a framework designed to curb the rising number of road traffic injuries and fatalities in the World. Following the 2011 Framework on Road Safety, the Philippines’ Department of Transportation spearheaded the Philippine Road Safety Action Plan (PRSAP) 2011-2020 with the goal of reducing road traffic crashes by the year 2020.

Jesus De la Fuente, Executive Director of SKWP said road traffic crashes have increased in the Philippines for the past several years. “Government data show transport-related crashes in the country have increased sharply from 15,572 in 2014 to 24, 565 in 2016,” he said.

It is important therefore, he further stated, to implement slower speeds in our roads because speed has always been a major factor in road traffic crashes. “A great portion of our road traffic crashes especially those that are fatal are caused by speeding and it has already proven that a 5% cut in average speed can result in a 30% reduction in the number of fatal road traffic crashes. This is what we hope to achieve in this event,” De la Fuente stressed.

Based on the recent studies, when motorized traffic mixes with pedestrians and cyclists, the speed limit should be under 30km/h.

Royce Cabunag, Director of SM Cares Program on Children and Youth, said SM is proud to be part of the advocacy to make roads safer for everyone. “In this fast-paced world, not everything needs to move at the speed of light. We need to slow down and the road is definitely a place where slowing down is vital and lifesaving. SM is a proud partner in this worthwhile endeavor to save lives especially our children. Let’s slow down to be safe and save lives,” Cabunag said.

SM Cares, a division of SM Foundation Inc., is the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of SM Prime Holdings, Inc. Its advocacies include Programs on Persons with Disabilities, Senior Citizens, Women and Breastfeeding, Children and Youth, OFW (or SM Global Pinoy), Social Entrepreneurship and Environment and Sustainability. To know more about SM Cares, you may visit www.facebook.com/OfficialSMCares.

Safe Kids Worldwide Philippines (SKWP) is a non-government organization working for the prevention of unintentional injuries to children 14 years old and below. It addresses the issues of road traffic crashes, drowning, falls, burns and poisoning. SKWP is a member of Safe Kids Global Network with more than 30 member countries and 400 coalitions in United Stated and Global Alliance of NGOs for Road Safety more than 170 member NGOs working in road safety from more than 90 countries around the world.

To know more about Safe Kids Worldwide Philippines please visit www.safekidsworldwide.ph or https://web.facebook.com/SafeKidsWorldwidePhilippines

Book on Ageing Population in the Philippines Launched by SM

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With the rapidly increasing ageing population in the Philippines, senior citizens have the power to elect the next president of the country.

This was bared over the weekend by University Professor Clarita Carlos during the launching of her pioneering book entitled Population Ageing in the Philippines, Issues and Challenges at The Podium who said that anyone vying for the presidency should tap into the 60 years and old and above age group because they will play a major role in electing the president in the next election.

_MG_6515_MG_6293_MG_6434 _MG_6359 _MG_6347_MG_6548_MG_6662“The population of the elderly in the Philippines will be more than 10 percent in 2020, thus political leaders should think of reaching out to (them). Not only is this mandated in the Philippine Constitution (under Article XIII) but the number is also significant in electing the next president of this country by 2022,” Carlos said.

She pointed out that the elderly population in the Philippines is increasing faster than the growth of the population. In 2000, there were 4.6 million senior citizens or about 6 percent of the population. In 2010, the number grew to 6 million or 6.9 percent of the population. By 2022, the elderly is expected to be around 12 million which is a significant factor in the election of the leaders at that period.

Carlos further stressed that the older age group enlarged at a faster rate of 3.4 percent per year compared with younger (1.5 percent) and working (2.8 percent) age groups from 1970 to 2010.

The ageing population is a worldwide phenomenon for all countries in the world, except Africa, according to Carlos. The number of older persons is project to grow by 56 percent from 901 million in 2015 to 1.4 billion in 2030. By year 2030, the population of older persons will be more than the number of children aged 0-9 years with 1.4 billion for the former and 1.3 billion for the latter.

“The ageing of our population is unprecedented. A combination of decreasing fertility rates and the increasing life expectancy have produced an ageing population. People are living longer because of advances in medicine, better nutrition, better health care, better education and overall well-being of society,” she said.

It therefore important, she added, that government, private sector and all stakeholders work hand in hand in making sure that the needs and aspirations of older people are met in the light of the various challenges and implications of an ageing population.

“There are profound implications of ageing population,” Carlos said as she noted that the overburdened health care systems in many countries will have to adjust to the needs of older persons. She also cited the consequences in the pension system which countries have to address to prevent deficits, as well as challenges in the labor structure as countries are now passing laws to prolong the age of requirement.

But Carlos said the biggest component to an ageing population is the family. “Older people get much of their strength from their children and members of their family. We should endeavor to make our developments centered on the family and all its members including our parents, the older people. This is the first big step to making sure that older people have happy, decent lives in their twilight years,” she said.

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In taking part in the book’s publication, SM Prime President Jeffrey C. Lim explained that SM has always believed in the inclusivity of services that should cater not just to the young but the old as well. “There has been a lot of focus on understanding millennials but very little about Senior Citizens. It is about time that we give attention to our Elders as well. With the ageing population, it has become necessary that we give them respect and dignity to pursue a life of fulfillment in their sunset years,” he said.

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For Carlos, she expressed hope that through her book, leaders in both the government and private sectors work hand in hand to address the issues and challenges of the ageing population. “That’s really the intention of this book. To bring to the attention of everybody that the world is ageing except Africa. The issue of an ageing population must be embedded in every social and economic plan of the nation,” she said.