In a bid to promote safer and more accessible roads in the country, SM Cares and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) recently launched their joint “Share the Road” campaign that aims to educate road transport stakeholders on the importance of sharing the road. The launch was held last March 6 at the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall in Pasay City.
Among the key individuals who attended the event were DOTr Sec. Jaime Bautista, DOTr Usec. for Road Transport and Infrastructure Atty. Mark Steven Pastor, SM Prime Holdings, Inc. Executive Committee Chairman Hans Sy, SM Supermalls President Steven Tan, and SM Supermalls Senior Vice President for Operations Engr. Bien Mateo. Representatives from various active transport groups were also present, including transport advocacy group Move as One Coalition’s co-convener Dr. Robbie Siy.
The “Share the Road” campaign is an information, education, and communication campaign that seeks to promote a culture of sharing the road among Filipinos, regardless of their preferred mode of transport, through a change in mindset. It is centered on a video that communicates road sharing guidelines and road safety tips in a way that’s fun and easy to understand, narrated by no other than Kim Atienza.
“From respecting road rules, to understanding that everyone has the same rights as us, there are a number of things that we need to remember so we can enable a culture of sharing the road,” said Tan.
“We need every Filipino to adopt and accept the mindset that every cyclist, every pedestrian, has an equal share on the road,” said Usec. Pastor. “More importantly, we need private sector partners like SM to help us expand our horizon, to help us make people understand what we’re trying to achieve. The culture should change now.”
“This event shall reaffirm the Department’s partnership with SM to intensify and strengthen our information and education campaign for the benefit and empowerment of active transport users across the country,” said Sec. Bautista.
Near the end of the event, SM and DOTr led by their representatives recited a Pledge of Commitment to reaffirm the partnership and vowed to continue pushing for enhanced and wider coverage in promoting the active transport agenda, and for activities that will enable more educated and disciplined road users.
Through the joint initiative, SM Cares supports the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, particularly “SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being” and “SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities.”
Other initiatives in line with promoting road safety are dedicated bike lanes in key SM Malls, expanded parking areas for bikes, 24-hour vending machine stations where riders can purchase tools and refreshments, and service repair stations that bikers can use free of charge, as well as continuous information, education, and communication campaigns focused on road safety and motorist etiquette.
SM Cares is the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of SM Supermalls, with programs that support communities, promote social inclusion, and care for the environment. Aside from the creation of bike-friendly SM Malls, its advocacies include Programs for the Environment, Persons with Disabilities, Women & Breastfeeding Mothers, Children & Youth, and Senior Citizens.