Press Release
September 14, 2023

Bong Go advocates for road safety and instilling discipline among motorists during turnover of motorcycles for the MMDA Motorcycle Riding Academy

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go personally attended the turnover ceremony of motorcycle units for the newly opened Metropolitan Manila Development Authority's (MMDA) Motorcycle Riding Academy in Pasig City on Tuesday, September 12.

"Today, we gather for the turnover ceremony of motorcycle units for the MMDA's Motorcycle Riding Academy. This academy is not just a training ground but a haven where riders learn not just the mechanics of operating a motorcycle but also the ethics of sharing the road responsibly," said Go in his speech.

"Ang mga motorsiklong ito na ating itu-turnover ngayon ay may layuning higit pa sa transportasyon. Sila ay maituturing nating classrooms on wheels. Naniniwala ako na malaki ang maitutulong ng mga motorsiklong ito hindi lamang sa pagtuturo sa ating mga kababayan na magmaneho, kundi para maturuan din sila kung papaano maging responsableng motorista," he continued.

The senator was joined by MMDA officials, including acting Chairman Romando Artes, Deputy Chairman Frisco San Juan, Jr., General Manager Procopio Lipana, and Asst. General Manager for Operations David Vargas.

MMDA's Motorcycle Riding Academy is a pioneering initiative supported by Go aimed at enhancing the skills and knowledge of motorcycle riders. As part of this initiative, the MMDA will establish a technical working group responsible for developing a Motorcycle Safety Training Course module.

This module is designed to provide comprehensive training and essential knowledge to both novice and seasoned riders. It will cover a wide range of topics, including various types and characteristics of motorcycles, basic motorcycle components and their functions, fundamental motorcycle control and operation, pertinent road safety laws and regulations related to motorcycle operation, essential driving skills to navigate safely and mitigate risks, and fostering a sense of risk awareness and responsible decision-making.

Citing the alarming statistics provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) in its 2018 Global Status Report on Road Safety, Go emphasized the importance of road safety education, particularly for motorcycle riders who are more vulnerable on the road.

"Alam n'yo, ayon po sa WHO 2018 Global Status Report on Road Safety mahigit 10,000 po ang deaths, pang-11 po tayo out of 175 countries, pinakamaraming deaths sa pagkadisgrasya sa motorcycle," Go said in an interview after attending the turnover ceremony.

"So, malaking bagay po ito na maturuan natin ang ating mga kababayan ng road safety," he added.

According to the said report, 4.7% of the 10,012 road traffic deaths in the Philippines involved drivers or passengers of two- or three-wheelers.

These alarming statistics are corroborated by MMDA's Metro Manila Accident Reporting and Analysis System (MMARAS), which reported that motorcycle riders accounted for approximately 38% of road crash fatalities in 2018. The numbers are on the rise, with 253 and 295 fatalities recorded in 2020 and 2021, respectively.

With this, Go also offered some advice for motorcycle riders, saying, "Defensive driving always at parati po natin ilagay sa ating isipan ang road safety. Dalawang gulong lang po ito, kaya mas delikado po. Tandaan po natin, meron po tayong pamilya, meron tayong mga anak na sinusuportahan, inuuwian."

Meanwhile, Go expressed his satisfaction with MMDA's ongoing educational initiatives. He also took note of his discussion with MMDA acting Chairman Romando Artes regarding the possibility of creating dedicated lanes for motorcycle riders, similar to bicycle lanes.

"Alam niyo po, tayo po ay napakapalad. For the longest time, si Senator Bong Go ay napakalaki ng tulong na naipaabot sa ating ahensya. For the last 3 years, masasabi ko po na maraming programa na ang napondohan ni Senator Bong Go sa atin dito sa MMDA," Artes said.

"On behalf of our agency, maraming salamat dahil hindi po kayo nagsasawa tumulong sa MMDA. At ngayon po siya ay magdo-donate ng sampung motorsiklo para magamit sa Motorcycle Riding Academy. Sana po ay huwag kayong magsawang tumulong sa amin," Artes added.

In response, Go acknowledged the efforts of MMDA, encouraged them to continue fulfilling their mandate for the development of Metropolitan Manila, and reminded them to prioritize the safety and welfare of the poor.

"I believe that today's ceremony goes beyond the mere handover of motorcycles. It is a collective commitment to safer roads and responsible riding. It is a pledge to our community that we value not just their mobility, but their lives," said Go.

After the turnover of motorcycles, Go took the opportunity to check on MMDA's new building which was inaugurated during the term of former president Rodrigo Duterte. He also met a few Metro Manila mayors who were present that day, including San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora, Pasay Mayor Emi Calixto-Rubiano and Malabon City Mayor Jeannie Sandoval.

"Marami tayong programang naisulong to improve the capability ng ating MMDA. Sa abot po ng aking makakaya, mula noon, ayoko namang pong mangako, basta kung ano po ang makakatulong sa ordinaryong mamamayang Pilipino, 'yun po ang mga programang isusulong ko kasama na ang sa MMDA para makatulong sa mahihirap nating kababayan," Go assured.

As vice chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, Go has played a significant role in initiating the P300 million funding for the first phase of the state-of-the-art new Communication and Command Center (CCC) situated at the new MMDA building.

Go said that the establishment of the National Capital Region's CCC manifests the MMDA's dedication to enhancing disaster response, traffic management, and overall public safety within the NCR. The senator noted that the new CCC is set to function as the nerve center for the MMDA, "harnessing cutting-edge technology and highly skilled personnel to streamline communication, coordination, and decision-making during critical situations."

During its ribbon-cutting in July of this year, MMDA Chair Artes took the opportunity to acknowledge the contributions of Go, saying, "Ang command center po na ito ay napondohan through the initiative of Senator Bong Go." Artes also expressed gratitude towards Senator Sonny Angara, whose initiative enabled the necessary funding for the expansion of the center.

The center allows the MMDA to maintain vigilant oversight of Metro Manila by managing 403 cutting-edge CCTV cameras installed at key points along the metropolis' roads and major infrastructure projects.

Further enhancing its surveillance capabilities, the center is in the process of integrating an additional 638 CCTV cameras dispersed across various Metro Manila cities. Notably, the EDSA Bus Carousel is set to have an exclusive set of 166 cameras to ensure its effective monitoring.

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