Lawmaker files bill aimed at protecting pedestrians


Pedestrian - Photo from SXC.huA Filipino lawmaker believes international road regulations applied in the Philippines do not provide enough safeguard for pedestrians and has filed the Pedestrian Protection Act of 2011 at the House of Representatives.

Items in the Pedestrian Protection Act of 2011 include:

- mandating the Department of Public Works and Highways and local government units (LGUs) to provide sidewalks in public roads within their jurisdiction;

- ensuring that sidewalks are free of obstruction, which may endanger pedestrians or hamper their free passage; and

- directing LGUs to place visible signages in all public roads where construction activities are ongoing to ensure pedestrian safety.

Calixto-Rubiano said current Philippine laws involving road users "focus greatly on motorists, placing pedestrians on the sidelines."

"Traffic laws are promulgated to establish order on roadways and ensure safety of motorist and pedestrians alike," the lawmaker said. "However, while the country is implementing traffic rules and regulations in accordance with internationally recognized standards, such rules proved wanting and deficient in so far as pedestrian protection is concerned."

To prevent accidents involving pedestrians in areas where traffic control signals are not working, the bill said the "driver of a vehicle shall yield" by slowing down or stopping when a pedestrian is crossing.

"When a vehicle is stopped at a crosswalk to permit a pedestrian to cross the public road, the driver of any vehicle approaching from the rear shall not overtake and pass such stopped vehicle," Calixto-Rubiano said.

The bill seeks to penalize pedestrian-rights violators with a fine of P5,000 or imprisonment of one year or both.

Now, this is okay if pedestrians are actually aware of their rights and they exercise them properly. There ought to be a law that protects motorists from people who refuse to use pedestrian lanes and elevated walkways for their own safety. After all, some pedestrians find anti-jaywalking ordinances far to easy to ignore. Your thoughts?


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  • someonespecialisme Jul 21 2011 @ 03:29pm
    how about protecting the motorists from pedestrians who just cross suddenly while there are speeding cars?
  • hajabah Jul 21 2011 @ 03:37pm
    i like someonespecialisme's comment so much, I won't just like it, I'll make the effort to type it. Probem here in the Philippines is that though there are sidewalks in many places, peds refuse to use them. They insist on walking on the street, even if the sidewalks are readily available and free of obstruction. I mean we're all pedestrians at some point, so we, and everyone else, have to learn how to actually use those sidewalks.
  • Chu55y Jul 21 2011 @ 03:49pm
    nice try but i think this would only work a 100 years ago when men was afraid of cars. but now a days it is cars that is afraid of men. toink.! this law would just make pedestrian more bosi on the streets. has anyone notice when pedestrian cross the street they tend to run but when reaching 3/4 of the street they tend to walk the rest of the way...WAaAAAh.. very irritating.
  • robin_micmac Jul 21 2011 @ 04:13pm
    im alright with this bill but i just hope that they make sure that pedestrians indeed cross on proper pedestrian crossings. ONLY!
  • vonschnipp Jul 21 2011 @ 04:33pm
    For somebody coming from abroad, pedestrian protection is indeed appalling here.
  • JoHunter Jul 21 2011 @ 04:37pm
    These lawmakers are preaching to the choir about making sidewalks available for pedestrians. What makes this doubly hilarious is THERE ARE SIDEWALKS, but either vendors have taken them all up or pedestrians flat-out don't use them. Enforce anti-jaywalking laws, you half-wits!
  • JoHunter Jul 21 2011 @ 04:39pm
    Ah, who are we kidding? Nagpapapogi lang 'tong si Rubiano.
  • robin_micmac Jul 21 2011 @ 06:38pm
    babae is Rep. Calixto-Rubiano :)
  • krzcuevas Jul 21 2011 @ 07:30pm
    I agree with "someonespecialisme", many pedestrian nowadays is selfish, unaware and irresponsible. Not only cross suddenly, many are pretending as if they didn't see nor hear approaching vehicles and they just walk slowly til you stop in front of them. How about rules that will be legal to hit those bastard in the highway or roads. They must be on the sidewalk anyway.
  • angelo Jul 21 2011 @ 08:30pm
    Dito lang kasi sa Pinas mas importante ang kotse kesa sa tao eh haha
  • engr_kristian Jul 21 2011 @ 08:41pm
    why put all the blame to the motorists? granted that a lot of motorists drive recklessly but it doesn't mean you have to punish all. i'm sure the percentage of proper motorists still outnumber the reckless ones.

    it's not true that pedestrians are being ignored. the government is spending exorbitant amount of money building overpasses. are they being used? i thought so. sidewalks are also built everytime. the problem is it's full of vendors. is that the fault of the motorists? pedestrian lanes are all over the place & motorists more often than not abide by it. problem is, pedestrians are too lazy to use them & they just instead cross wherever they want.

    on a totally unrelated but somehow connected topic, motorists pay Road Users Tax. do pedestrians?
    Last modified Jul 21 2011 @ 08:46pm
  • jay kay Jul 21 2011 @ 08:53pm
    I think it'd be nicer if pedestrians read and understood the signs like no jaywalking or crossing. it's like what's written on these signs is a foreign language to them.
    but it would also be nice if motorists stop for pedestrian lanes and stop before them, not on top of them.
  • RS500 Jul 21 2011 @ 08:54pm
    It is about time they have thought about this. The pedestrians should be disciplined too. I especially hate it when people still cross the open highway without using the footbridge. For god's sake, we paid our taxes to build more footbridges. And now what? If you get caught in an accident because you crossed the street, you'll blame us drivers? Now If I were to change the law, I'll fine the pedestrian for the damages of my car.
  • marcs Jul 21 2011 @ 09:43pm
    I will comment on several points:
    - Footbridge? Have any of you even tried walking over one of those? Most motorists complain how pedestrians don't bother to use footbridges, and this coming from most motorists who would wait 10-20 mins for a parking space just so they can avoid 2 extra minutes of walking. Have you seen an old woman try to get up one of those things? You're right, these are a waste of money. Pedestrians should be allowed to cross the street at street level, via pedestrian lanes.
    - Sidewalks? Where? You mean those same sidewalks that are being used as parking spaces by cars? Manila has one of the worst walkability scores among cities in Asia. Sidewalks with vendors, with lamp posts, parking spaces etc. The only place I've seen where there seems to be good sidewalks are in Makati. Manila has evolved to expanding and expanding roads at the expense of sidewalks etc.
    - Taxes? Don't pedestrians pay taxes also? Maybe not road users tax if they don't own a car, but still taxes that gives them just the same right to commute from one place to another. If we're talking fair usage of limited Manila space, cars (about 10sqm) and on the average carries 1 person, be a less efficient use of road space vs. a pedestrian that uses public transportation (a bus is about 2-3 car lenghts, and carries what, 60 people?)
    - Funny thing about motorists is that they seem to blame everything else for the cause of traffic, from public transport to pedestrians to limited roads, etc when the basic match is there are so much cars, and so much being added, over Manila's very limited space. Everyone seems to be imagining that space will pop up somewhere. Based on the LTO website, there's about 1.8M registered vehicles in Metro Manila, and this grows by an average of 100,000 vehicles per year. I can't find the split, but I would guess that less than 20% of that is probably public transpo, maybe less. (There are only 33,000 registered buses NATIONWIDE). So next time you complain about the traffic in EDSA, note that for every 4 or 5 cars blocking your way, there's only about one bus.

    If we're to see ease of congestion in the metro, it's going to come via turning it into a walkable/bikeable city with a more efficient public transpo system. we're so fixated with following an american system of roads roads roads when we have so little space. This is probably not going to happen, with the most Pinoys obsessed with driving, even it means wasting 2-3 hours of your life everyday in traffic, or blowing off 10-20% of your salay on fuel, choking on all the pollution.

    Someday it'll happen though, when fuel prices skyrocket again (and it will, what do you expect from a limited resource?) and traffic gets super unbearable.

    And yes, I'm a motorist myself, and I love driving my car, but only mostly on weekends. weekdays, taking the bus is a lot more convenient and cheaper option.

  • engr_kristian Jul 21 2011 @ 10:58pm
    the point is, you don't need another piece of legislation that, for sure, will not go anywhere & will just pad up the consti books. all we need is to properly implement the existing ones and/or build better projects.

    in Las Pinas, where I live, footbridges have escalators & people are actually using it. I understand it's not the same all over the metro but, again, the point is why not? if LP can do it, why not others? where there are no footbridges, there are pedestrian lanes. yes, motorists respect that & so should the pedestrians. also in LP, i see sidewalks even along Alabang-Zapote Road which is the main artery of the city. this issue lies not within the Legislative but in the Executive, more specifically, the LGUs.

    of course, human life is still paramount even if it was a fre*kin' id*ot but common sense dictates that preservation of life is primary consideration. we should all think twice & hard before we do anything that is remotely dangerous. motorists never want to hit anybody & will do his darndest not to. pedestrians must also play their part.
    Last modified Jul 21 2011 @ 11:06pm
  • ChairmanPineapple Jul 21 2011 @ 11:09pm
    i hope this politicians will make laws protecting "US" motorist from no discipline pedestrians! Be fair to us as well!! We are your registered voters too!
  • ChairmanPineapple Jul 21 2011 @ 11:12pm
    "driver of a vehicle shall yield" - no no no! Yun ibang pedestrian pinagbigyan na eh babagal bagal pa tumawid pakembot kembot pa! Incosiderate idiots like these people should not be even worth yielding!
  • pehdehceh Jul 21 2011 @ 11:47pm
    How about implementing traffic lights for pedestrians? In other countries, people use it. And when a pedestrian disobeyed it, they are penalized for doing so. Sometimes also when I'm watching the news, How come motorists are responsible for pedestrians that cross on no j-walking zones? I mean the one responsible for that is the pedestrian, not the driver. It is just a matter of common sense. "Bawal tumawid dito, may namatay na dito", Yet we saw people still crossing. Regarding also the use of the pedestrian lanes, uneducated motorists just don't know where to stop when aprroaching an intersection when the red light is on them. Also pedestrians who feel that they are walking in Luneta are getting in to my nerves. Sidewalks? I never knew they existed. Oh! The one where vehicles park on and street vendors stay? Yeah they are used, but not by people who needs to walk there.
    • iw84n01 Jul 22 2011 @ 02:45pm
      agree with @pehdehceh. minsan mas gusto pa ng tao tumawid pa go. parang na eexcite sila :( kakapikon minsan . lalo na dun sa papuntang North yung mga tao dun sa paligid biglang tumtawid. minsan kikipag patintero. kakasira ng diskarte.
  • JoHunter Jul 22 2011 @ 12:01am
    - The ratio of private cars and PUVs - yes, there's a space issue here when you consider than most private cars carry only one passenger as opposed to jeepneys and buses. But proposing to do away with this disparity is no different from the principle of equal wealth distribution - we might as well adopt communism. Besides, private cars are mostly on the roads only during commutes, while PUVs are there round-the-clock. Third, buses may have up to 60-people capacities but most of them (at least those that matter, e.g. EDSA-plying buses) seldom get filled to capacity because most people prefer to take FX taxis and MRT/LRT. There was actually a resolution around two or three years ago to relocate 4,000 buses out of MM's major thoroughfares because of this reason. Obviously, it didn't happen. The people who proposed this probably got warned that those are registered voters they'd be dealing with.
    - The thing is it does make sense to blame irresponsible pedestrians, PUVs, and of course the government for the traffic congestion problem. Old people may not be able to deal with footbridges but what is the percentage of old, weak people from the total number of pedestrians, anyway? Yes, there are some motorists (mostly PUV drivers from my observation) who don't respect pedestrians, and they need to be educated. But there are even more pedestrians who put themselves in harms way crossing ANYWHERE and ANYTIME on the road, to hell if the light is green or it's in the middle of freaking Commonwealth avenue. And face it, PUVs do clog up the roads by piling up on places where they think they can get passengers. If we're talking about the sheer volume of private vehicles on the road, one just needs to look at major cities in the US where car volumes that are much greater than ours may cause traffic to slow down, but at least they're still moving at an acceptable rate. Imagine how much improvement our traffic situation will have if PUVs don't plug up the roads and pedestrians cross the streets where they should and when they should.
    - As for this new proposed law, it's superfluous, because we already have enough to solve our problems if only they're enforced properly.
    Last modified Jul 22 2011 @ 12:08am
  • engr_kristian Jul 22 2011 @ 12:11am
    @pehdehceh: couldn't agree with you more. if you've driven along Roxas Blvd in Malate area, there's this (not sure if it's still there but i hope it is) pedestrian lights equipped with timer. pedestrians are given 60 seconds to cross every time which is more than enough since it only takes a few to cross. the point is, things like that works nicely & effectively without the need of any new laws. i think the law they need to pass is to require such equipment all over the country.
  • sweetpea Jul 22 2011 @ 12:32am
    Laws are created for protection of both parties, i.e. motorists and pedestrians. Regardless if these laws are passed, if most people don't follow it and the government don't have strict guidelines in implementing it, it's pointless. I hope people should have the discipline to follow our laws...
  • sweetpea Jul 22 2011 @ 12:33am
    Laws are created for protection of both parties, i.e. motorists and pedestrians. Regardless if these laws are passed, if most people don't follow it and the government doesn't have strict guidelines in implementing it, it's pointless. I hope people should have the discipline to follow our laws...
  • marcs Jul 22 2011 @ 07:58am
    when you say equal wealth distribution, wouldn't that mean equal access for everyone to get to where they want to go? and not just prioritizing people who have cars? a bus even at 10% of its capacity would be carrying what, 5-10 people? How's that vs. a car or even an SUV that carries one? Would you rather have all these passengers buy a car and add to the congestion on the road?

    And have you even seen buses during rush hour? How most people are standing up? I don't think the MRT is helping much also, since it's also super congested, has long lines, and the destinations are limited.

    The reality is there are almost 10M people in Manila, and not everyone has a car, and yet majority has to get from point A to point B, and the need to talk and commute will always be there, and these people will need to share the road along with all these private motorists.

    If things are to improve, then the mass transport system has to be improved to make it more efficient, more convenient for people. When I was in Japan I never ever saw the need to get a car because the mass transport system is so good, I can literally go from my apartment in Kobe all the way to Tokyo through an interconnection of trains, through well established sidewalks, etc.

    I say we implement Singapore's rules as well here, high taxes for cars that need to be driven in Metro Manila. They also issue some plates at cheaper cost but you can only drive these cars on weekends. I would also like to do away with jeeps, tricycles, etc, but the reality is there is no alternative at the moment for the masses.
  • AuiBoy Jul 22 2011 @ 08:03am
    OK This congresswoman sez she want a Law that will implement the Laws that exists*p*d nonsense. Sa dami ng Batas natin sa Pinas buhol-buhol na kaya di matapos tapos ung debate nyo kung anong batas ang tama o hindi hehehe...kasi lahat kayo magaling, Sana may batas na walang ng Congress haha...
  • nic_homeaid Jul 22 2011 @ 10:47am
    chicken and egg - PUVs stop in the middle of the road or commuters who wave at PUVs in the middle of the road
  • warak1422 Jul 22 2011 @ 01:31pm
    sagasaan nyu na lang 2tal mayaman nmn kau
    maliit lng nmn ang byad sa patay kumpara sa mga Porsche nyu
  • Balisong Jul 22 2011 @ 04:25pm
    Yea what they should do is pass a bill to make sure that all of our rules and regulations are enforced. All of this is useless when none of them are being enforced. 1 reason why I liked Bayani Fernando. I hated all of his U-turns and horrible other schemes that made no sense whatsoever. I did like the fact that they were being enforced though. Also maybe have designated areas where buses and public vehicles can load and unload rather than in the middle of wherever they please. I know that they are just trying to make a living. With more discipline and order though the flow of traffic would improve greatly, allowing them to make more trips and earn more money. I'm not really gonna hold my breath tho. Off topic. There are too many dang congressmen/women. They should get rid of the Party-list scheme. /end of rant
    Last modified Jul 22 2011 @ 04:27pm
  • ako_si_bigotilyo Jul 22 2011 @ 08:53pm
    Sabihin mo sa kanya gumawa ng bill na gawing standard ang "City Safety" function ng Volvo sa lahat ng cars!
  • blazinthrower Jul 22 2011 @ 10:04pm
    " I'm a motorist myself, and I love driving my car, but only mostly on weekends. weekdays, taking the bus is a lot more convenient and cheaper option. ." - marcs

    @ marcs - I've experienced being a motorist and commuter/pedestrian in the metro. The thing is, people drive their cars for the convenience (A/C, radio, privacy) and somewhat false security (enclosed space). Certain parts of MM are deemed difficult for commuters/pedestrians. e.g. Sweltering heat, rainy days, no PUVs, co-commuters' bad hygene, co-commuters' intoxicating perfume, and among other factors. :-/
  • blazinthrower Jul 22 2011 @ 10:20pm
    This bill/law is great... IF all roads in the metro are like in Fort Bonifacio.
  • jabroni Jul 22 2011 @ 11:32pm
    Sana gumawa din ng batas na "okay lang makasagasa kapag mali yung tinawiran ng tao"... pero sana maglagay din ng mas marami at maaayos na tawiran para wala na din masabi ang mga pedestrian kung sagasaan man sila hehe...
  • ChairmanPineapple Jul 22 2011 @ 11:55pm
    bayani fernando once said on media, kapag nabangga mo ang pedestrian na wala sa tamang tawiran siya, dapat absuwelto ang motorist kasi nasa mali ang pedestrian. ---> man, i miss this pinky guy
  • AuiBoy Jul 23 2011 @ 01:05pm
    they forgot to think that if theres a wreckless driver theres also a wreckless pedestrian!!!!
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