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THE UNITED NATIONS Children’s Fund or UNICEF has chosen over two dozen public schools here as pilot areas for the implementation of the “Child Road Traffic Injury and Prevention.”

City Administrator Apple Go said the UNICEF, originally known as the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, aims to look into the vulnerability of each school’s location, the presence of standard road signage, which will ensure the safety of children, and will provide programs or activities to increase awareness on the matter.

She said a two-day strategic planning and workshop on the program was conducted recently by the Human Development and Empowerment Services, an international aid organization; in partnership with the UNICEF, the local government of Zamboanga and the Land Transportation Office (LTO).

“The program aims to prevent the increasing number of road crash incidents involving children, especially when they are going to and from their respective schools,” Go said.

Last February 28, the LTO which is under the Department of Transportation, held the first Road Safety Congress here with various stakeholders and promoted a unified, holistic and proactive approach to address the road safety issue in Western Mindanao.

“It’s about time that we put road safety in the frontline. It should be the prime fight to ensure that the children will be safe at bahagi po iyan ng kampanya ng ating convergence. At nangyari na po iyan dahil sa pagsasama-sama, sa paniniwala po na kung anong krusada natin pagdating sa road safety dapat po nating maituloy,” LTO Regional Director Aminola Abaton said.

Abaton said the UNICEF is also eager to mass produce LTO’s “Partnership for Enhanced Road Safety Program” and the “Road Safety Module” which were launched here during the congress.

He said the Department of Education expressed strong support to integrate the “Student’s Today, Road Users Tomorrow” road safety module in the K-12 curriculum in Western Mindanao. The module was developed by LTO in the Bicol Region.

“The LTO is enthusiastic that the road safety agenda will finally be put in the government’s platform. Ito ang simula ng mas pinaigting na kampanya para isulong ang kaligtasan sa ating mga lansangan,” Abaton said.

Last week, Abaton also launched the “Search for Tsuper ng Buhay Ko” in recognition to outstanding and disciplined drivers in Zamboanga City and increase awareness on road safety. (Zamboanga Post)


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