A family of six, including three young children, were killed when their tricycle was in collision with a bus in Digos City.
The crash at 6.20am today (Wednesday, November 14) claimed the lives of husband and wife Joel and Honey Grace Castro, her father, Floro Okbenaria and their children Cyri, seven, Joana Clair, four, and Pedo, two.
According to a report by Digos City Police Station, the tricycle was heading towards Santa Cruz town along the Digos Diversion road while the Mindanao Star bus — driven by Fermin Macalos — was coming from the direction of Davao City.
The bus was entering the satellite terminal in Digos City via the Davao-General Santos highway when it slammed into the tricycle. No one on the bus was harmed.
Macalos told investigators that he had tried to evade the tricycle but collided head-on. He is now detained on suspicion of “reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide”.
The collision sparked calls for local officials to strictly impose the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) directive banning tricycles from national roads.
Recently, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año reiterated his directive to local government units to focus on apprehending tricycles using national highways.
Speaking today, Superintendent Eliseo Malana, chief of the Davao del Sur Highway Patrol Group, said they had been working to keep tricycles off the roads, but could not do so on a 24-hour basis due to lack of personnel.
Earlier this year, we reported that the Philippine delegation to the UN General Assembly admitted that the country was having a “hard time” cutting the “unacceptably high” death toll on its roads.
Speaking in New York, Cesar Sarmiento, chairman of the House transportation committee, said the country was struggling to meet the global target of cutting road crash fatalities by half by 2020.
He added that despite ongoing efforts to promote road safety, “the number of road traffic crashes globally remains unacceptably high”. In the case of the Philippines, he said, “we are also having a hard time meeting the target”.
“As of the end of 2016, road crashes kill an average of 31 people a day and is a major cause of death for our youth. This figure shows a 40 per cent increase in the number of deaths compared to 2006,” he said.
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