ROAD ACCIDENTS, NUMBER FOUR KILLER IN RP: Undeniably, one of the greatest killers among Filipinos nowadays, which claims a sizable number of lives daily, weekly, monthly and annually, are road accidents, often caused by gross negligence of drivers and their inexplicable refusal to be concerned about the safety of others.
In a report at the website of the media giant ABS CBN on November 7, 2008, road accidents have been ranked as the fourth leading cause of death in the Philippines and, if things do not change, they are projected to be the number one leading cause of death among Filipinos in 2020.
Hopefully, this could be averted, especially because the government, through the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) under its present chairman, Alberto Suansing, is teaming up with thousands and thousands of members of Rotary International (RI) from the Philippines to curb, if not totally eliminate, road accidents.
As I am writing this column on January 14, 2010, the LTFRB and a number of Rotary organizations in the country will have already signed a document captioned as “Memorandum of Agreement: Disiplina sa Kalye, Kaligtasan Para sa Lahat” which will enable Rotarians, pursuing Rotary’s motto of “service above self”, to report, act on the spot, and thereafter help prosecute erring drivers and, in case of public utility vehicles, even their operators.
LTFRB-ROTARIANS JOIN HANDS TO STOP ROAD ACCIDENTS: Aside from the members of the Public Image Resource Group for Zone 7 (Philippines and Indonesia) under the chairmanship of Manila Bulletin Vice President Lyne Abanilla, the other participating Rotarians come from the Rotary Clubs of Intramuros (led by President Art Platon), Ermita (led by President Eugene Tan), Tondo (led by President Arlene Khoa), Pasay Gil Puyat (led by President Catherine Oyao) and Pasay Maharlika (led by President Agrifina Zafra), all of RI District 3810, under Visionary Gov. Connie Beltran.
Abanilla said other Rotary Clubs from the Philippines’ 10 Rotary districts, led by their respective district governors for Rotary Year 2009-2010, are to be asked to join this joint project with the LTFRB to give a nationwide effect.
The agreement, expected to be signed at the office of Suansing (himself a past president of the Rotary Club of Intramuros), provides, among others: “NOW, FOR AND IN CONSIDERATION of the foregoing, and of the terms and conditions hereunder set forth, the parties hereto agree, covenant and bind themselves as follows:
“First. Basically, pursuant to this memorandum of agreement, the LTFRB accepts the offer of collaboration and cooperation being extended by the Public Image Resource Group of the Rotary International for Zone 7 (for Philippines and Indonesia) and of the Rotary Clubs mentioned herein, for the further implementation and prosecution of “Oplan Isnabero”, and for the institutionalization of road discipline for the safety of all.
ROTARIANS TO REPORT ABUSIVE DRIVERS AND OPERATORS:“Second. Pursuant thereto, the LTFRB undertakes to accept and act immediately on any report of abuse or any other malfeasance or misfeasance on the part of any public utility operator or any of the operator’s agents, employees or personnel, that will be made, texted or otherwise submitted (in any other manner) by Rotarians...
“Third. To assure the authenticity of the reports submitted to the LTFRB as coming from Rotarians included in this project, the reports, text messages or any other accusations must contain the name of the club and the family name of its president, including the club’s ID number issued by RI.
“Fourth. In the event that further investigations maybe required to enable the LTFRB to proceed against erring public utility operators or any of its agents, employees or personnel, the reporting (Rotarians) will extend all possible assistance to prove the imputed violations, but the LTFRB must endeavour to keep the identity of the reporting Rotarian confidential and secret.
Fifth. It is understood that the participating Rotarians shall be performing the tasks assigned to them by virtue of this agreement voluntarily, freely, and without any expectation of any financial remuneration or compensation and solely because of their desire to lead the way in discharging the Rotary International motto “Service Above Self”, in line with the Rotary Theme for Rotary Year 2009-2010 “The Future of Rotary Is In Your Hands”, and any act of the participating Rotarians pursuant to this agreement shall not constitute them as agent, officer, employee or personnel of the LTFRB....”
FINDING OF THE CHILD JESUS AT THE TEMPLE: The fifth and the last Joyful Mystery of the Holy Rosary, called “finding of the Child Jesus at the Temple”, depicts the joy of the greatly-bothered Joseph and Mary upon finding the boy Jesus, then aged 12 years old, at the Temple in Jerusalem.
Basically, Jesus was left behind by his parents who, not knowing that Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, proceeded to return home after their family attended the Feast of the Passover (an annual Jewish holiday that seeks to remind the Jews of how God freed them from their slavery in Egypt).
Realizing that Jesus was not with them while they were returning home, Joseph and Mary spent three days going back to Jerusalem and searching for Him.
Found in Luke 2:41 to 51 of the Bible, the account of this event in Jesus’ life shows once more the divinity of Jesus, and His having been in possession of a great amount of learning over and beyond what a boy of His age would normally have.
“Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers,” the Bible says, in effect confirming Jesus was not an ordinary man.
And when He told Joseph and Mary that they should not be searching for Him because He had to be in His Father’s house, it was a reaffirmation of His status as the Son of God, something that was already announced earlier by Gabriel, the angel who walks in the presence of God (Luke 1:35).