Safety First

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AS A New Year approaches, we normally look to the brighter side of things as we hope for a better future.

But it is simply impossible to ignore the unspeakable grief that befell many of our people due to recent natural and man-made tragedies that struck as the nation prepared to celebrate Christmas.

Even as rescuers search for over 107 missing, the death toll from typhoon Vinta has already climbed to a staggering 240. At least 37 people perished in a mall fire in Davao City.

Some 20 passengers were killed and 26 others were hurt when a jeepney collided with a bus in Agoo, La Union on Christmas Day itself.

The loss of these many lives is already horrifying, but what is even more disturbing is that this could have been avoided, or at least minimized.

In the case of Vinta, the Department of Science and Technology has bared that local executives had given prior warning of possible flashfloods and landslides due to heavy rains and evacuation was recommended for vulnerable areas.

There is indication of violation of safety standards in the Davao fire. In the Agoo crash, it appears the jeepney was trying to overtake another vehicle when it collided with the bus on the other lane.

We’ve had similar tragedies before. And as the saying goes, if we don’t learn the lessons from the past, we are bound to commit the same mistakes again.

This has got to stop. For this to happen, it needs not only appropriate action from concerned authorities but also the cooperation of the citizenry. We should always put safety on top of our concerns.

May we have a safer New Year ahead.

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