NLEX Corporation has partnered with relevant government agencies that also champion the safety and welfare of the public, including children in a bid to reinforce road safety initiatives.
The company has tapped the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Council (JJWC) to discuss the various policies and processes to protect the welfare of children at risk (CAR) and children in conflict with the law (CICL).
“Over the years, we have been coordinating with government agencies as part of our efforts to prevent stoning incidents and other prohibited acts along the NLEX-SCTEX for the safety of the motorists traveling our expressways,” said NLEX Corporation President J. Luigi L. Bautista. He added, “in partnering with JJWC, we aim to enhance our measures to strengthen our alliance with the LGUs and promote the rights of children.”
JJWC and NLEX Corp gathered more than 200 local officials and barangay leaders from NLEX-SCTEX host communities in Metro Manila and Central Luzon in an orientation on integrated care management protocol (ICMP) to better handle CAR and CICL cases.
The orientation intends to educate officials of local government units (LGUs) on procedures in handling and protecting the rights of CAR and CICL and deliver effective solutions to address the concerns involving minors.
Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte highlighted that the local government of Quezon City recognizes the youth as its most valuable resource and has been empowering them with programs that will help them have a bright future.
“We have education and healthcare services along with youth development projects at the barangay level that aim to keep them engaged and productive. This initiative by the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Council and NLEX Corporation will help balance safety in our city while advocating for the welfare of our children at risk and children in conflict with the law,” she said.
Pulilan, Bulacan Mayor Maritz Ochoa Montejo acknowledged that this road safety effort is vital for the protection of both motorists and children, saying “kami ay nagpapasalamat sa NLEX-SCTEX at JJWC for initiating this event. Ang kaligtasan ng motorista ay mahalaga at ito ay dapat na patuloy na alagaan.” She also mentioned that her LGU continues to conduct capacity building activities for children in relation to the Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC).
With the program also aiming to encourage LGUs to issue legislation involving minors, Dinalupihan Vice Mayor Fernando Manalili said, “Kami po sa aming bayan ay tutulong para makapagpatibay ng isang ordinansa dito sa anti-stoning incident para maprotektahan ang ating mga manlalakbay sa NLEX-SCTEX.”
Appreciative of the positive outcome of the safety program, JJWC Executive Director Atty. Tricia Clare A. Oco said, “JJWC is grateful to NLEX Corporation for this collaboration of wits, resources, and passion between the government and the private sector to pursue the welfare of children. We at JJWC hope that this collaboration will lead to stronger ties, better inter-barangay partnerships, safer homes, and brighter future for our children dahil sa Juvenile Justice Law, ang bawat isa ay kaisa sa pagkamit ng pagbabago.”
In another development, the tollway company continues to get the support of its stakeholders as the Sangguniang Bayan ng Hermosa in Bataan passed an anti-stoning ordinance that will boost the safety of motorists and people in the said host community.
The Ordinance No. 10 Series of 2022 or the Municipality of Hermosa’s “Anti-Stoning Ordinance” declares stoning committed in the portions of the SCTEX within the municipality as unlawful and shall be penalized accordingly.
“This law is the LGU’s response to the increasing incidents of stoning, at times committed by minors, that damaged vehicles and caused accidents in SCTEX. This also aims to prevent minors from endangering themselves and SCTEX motorists,” said Hermosa Mayor Joseph Antonio “Jopet” R. Inton.
The SCTEX and other expressways in the country are limited access facilities. As such, the acts of throwing of stones at vehicles traversing the road, climbing the fence/wall, and wandering, roaming or meandering near SCTEX fences/overpasses are prohibited.
“Taos-pusong pasasalamat sa Bayan ng Hermosa, at sa Sanggunian nito, sa patuloy na partnership at walang sawang pagsuporta sa NLEX, lalong-lalo na po sa aming mga road safety campaigns. Isa na nga po dito ang kapapasa lamang na ‘anti-stoning ordinance’ na makakatulong upang mabigyan ng solusyon ang mga insidente ng ‘stoning’ sa SCTEX,” Bautista said.
Aside from the Municipality of Hermosa, the City of Mabalacat and Municipality of Floridablanca in Pampanga also approved an anti-stoning ordinance to uphold road safety along NLEX-SCTEX.