“This safety park was created due to the alarming traffic and sidewalk accidents on children”.
MANILA- Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) created an educational tourist place that will help the children and students to know the importance and the use of the road and traffic signs around Metro Manila and other cities in the National Capital Region (NCR).
This project was called as Children’s Road Safety Park and it was patterned from the Singaporean’s Road Safety Park in Singapore and it was proposed by the MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino and the park was inaugurated on November 15 2012.
Medelina Trapsi, acting administrative officer and one of the resource persons of the MMDA Children’s Safety Park said, “Our chairman ( Francis Tolentino), proposed this project due to the alarming traffic and sidewalk accidents among children here in the Philippines”.
The MMDA Children’s Safety Park was created to teach the value of road safety and traffic discipline among children and to show the importance on observing the traffic rules and regulations along the cities.
This park will also give the visitors the idea of the potential dangers on the road and they can also familiarize themselves on the traffic related structures, traffic sign ages and lay makings.
Ms. Trapsi also added that they are expecting that the visitors that come to the park will become a law abiding citizen and not traffic violators.
MMDA Children’s Safety Park was located in Adriatico St, corner Quirino Avenue in the city of Manila which has an area of 4,600 sq. m. that showcases the miniatures of the traffic-related structures that can be seen in the cities and some provinces like the bike lanes, pedestrian crossings, the steel footbridge, sidewalks, drainage systems and the different road signs such as No Parking, No Jail walking, Slow down school zone and many others.
There were also miniatures of different establishments in the city or province like the Church, School, Stores, Gasoline Stations and many others.
According to Ms. Trapsi, the visitors who come in the park were from the different Private and Public schools all over Metro Manila, also there were schools from the provinces of Calamba, Laguna, Rizal, Batnagas, Pangasinan, Bulacan, we laso have visitors from Olongapo and Bataan who visited the said park.
As of July 2015, there were 143,792 visitors who come and observed the place and the park also provides 10 facilitators that will guide the visitors for the better understanding of the road signs and symbols.
“Upon entering the park, we give basic information and background to the students and teachers on what is this MMDA Children’s Road Safety Park. We also provide flipcharts that pictures the traffic sign ages and lay marks and we explain it one by one to the students and we also give them the importance of those” she added.
MMDA reaction to the netizens..
One of the miniatures in the park created a noise in the social media.
The steel foot bridge in the MMDA Children’s safety park give confusion to the people especially to the netizens some of the netizens said that it is the weirdest project of all and MMDA wasted the money of the people for building this mini footbridge.
In this issue the MMDA clarified that the mini footbridge is not an actual footbridge yet it was a part of the MMDA Children’s Road Safety Park.
“In the time of that issue, actually there were lots of media from television and newspaper who came in to interview us and to picture and video coverage of what is that still foot bridge that became very controversial foot bridge” Ms. Trapsi said.
According to Ms. Trapsi, the netizens just criticized it(foot bridge) although everyone can give their own opinion but they(the netizens) must do a research first or they must visit the park so that they will know what is the use of the miniature foot bridge before they conclude their opinions.
The park become one of the social controversies in the country but at the same time the MMDA Children’s Road Safety Park received different appraising thoughts from the people who visited it.
“So far we received various recommendations, certificates of appreciation and positive feedback from our visitors that they are very happy in the park and in our accommodation with them and we are also happy that some of them come back to visit the park in order to be more familiarize on the things here in the park”, Ms. Trapsi said.
Mariel Uyquiengco, a blogger who visited the park said “We’re happy to have discovered the MMDA Children’s Road Safety Park as it provided our family to once again make our learning more fun, interactive, and experiential. Do visit the park when your kids are learning about cities, street signs, and road safety. Or, if you encounter a traffic sign on a book, go explore the park and make the concepts in the book jump out of the pages.” (http://www.thelearningbasket.com/2014/10/childrens-road-safety-park.html)
Mommy Bunny is also a blogger who visited the park said, “All in all, it was nice to experience this park and I commend the MMDA for creating something that is both fun and educational for kids. As Yui said, it was the best. day. ever.” (https://thehoppymommybunny.wordpress.com/2013/03/20/mmda-childrens-road-safety-park/)
Other MMDA Projects regarding Road safety
Traffic Academy in Sta. Mesa, is one also of the projects of the MMDA where the road and traffic violators who had ticketed three or more times will have an exam in this academy in order to get his or her license. The exam will cover all the basic driving rules and regulations.
Another project of the MMDA is the Institute of Traffic Management (ITM) in Gudalupe, Makati City, this project is the premiere educational institution for the training and continuous education for all traffic management personnel, the traffic enforcers and traffic accident investigators of both local and national government agencies.
Ms. Trapsi said “this ITM has the authority to grant degrees and issue certificates of training competency to government and non-government personnel involved in traffic management, traffic law enforcement and traffic accident investigations and have successfully completed training programs and courses and this intends, among other things, to exact compliance among motorists through the establishment of a more efficient and effective traffic enforcement systems and agencies link-up while improving the integrity of MMDA and local traffic enforcers.
“We are hoping that the children upon reaching their age of maturity they are already well educated on the road safety rules and regulations and to the traffic signs and symbols so that there will be no road violators in the near future” Ms. Trapsi added