By Tracy Cabrera
MANILA — Just more than a month before regular school sessions begin in August for the upcoming school year, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has announced its readiness for Oplan Balik Eskwela 2022 to ensure the safe resumption of 100 percent face-to-face (F2F) classes nationwide.
In an official announcement, MMDA Traffic Discipline Office (MMDA-TDO) chief Atty. Victor Nuñez said the agency is fully committed to its mandate of public service and they are ensuring that school children will be protected while traveling to school in preparation for the academic year 2022-2023.
“We will have a meeting with the school administrators, Parent-Teacher Associations (PTA), and local traffic bureaus in the National Capital Region to discuss road safety checks in school zones,” Nuñez stated during the celebration of the National Safe Kids Week held at the MMDA Traffic Academy in Santa Mesa, Manila.
“Let me emphasize that road safety is a shared responsibility. We will ensure that enforcement of traffic laws, in constant coordination with the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Land Transportation Office (LTO), and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), are in place to keep tabs on motorists to protect the safety of vulnerable road users,” he added.
According to the head of the MMDA’s TDO, there is ongoing repainting of pedestrian lanes within the immediate vicinities of schools in Metro Manila, and the Children’s Road Safety Park in Adriatico, Manila is already open to children for a deeper understanding of safety on the road and traffic discipline.
Meanwhile, transportation undersecretary Mark Steven Pastor noted the importance of raising awareness among all road users and implementing road safety interventions.
“Our primary advocacy is to strictly enforce existing road safety laws. Children go out of their houses and take public transportation to go to school. Hence, we have to protect them as we embark on the full implementation of face-to-face classes,” Pastor pointed out.
In support, LTO Law Enforcement Service deputy director Robert Valera underscored why enforcement of road safety laws is important.
“LTO is a road safety advocate. A strong, sustained, and highly visible enforcement are needed to prevent road crash incidents involving children,” Valera stressed. (ai/mtvn)