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Safety culture (Part 2)


cardie roque that's the spirit

THE law enforcement agencies are not the only ones responsible or at fault for the weak implementation of safety laws and regulations in our country. We, the people, are equally responsible and at fault because we, among others, initiate the non-compliance to said laws and regulations – and we do so when such non-compliance is personally “beneficial” and convenient to us even if we are compromising our safety and those of others.

Many of us do not follow the provisions of the Building Code and Fire Code because compliance will mean more time, effort and money. Many of us will prefer to jaywalk than take additional steps to a pedestrian lane because it is more convenient.

Some of us insisted to build houses and other structures in declared danger zones like near rivers and coasts because it will be more convenient given the kind of livelihood they have or simply because the space is “free.”

There is an obvious need for an overhaul (nor just reorientation) of the safety culture in our country.

Where should we start?

Overhauling of our safety culture should start from and in each one of us. We should all take to heart the fact that on matters of safety, there should be no shortcuts, savings and compromises. Furthermore, we should all regard all that we do in their long-term context, i.e. we anchor our actions and decisions on their long-term effects and implications and not on their short-term benefits and convenience.

We should all be individually responsible not only for our safety and that of our loved ones but also the safety those who can potentially be harmed by our actions and decisions.

We should also take to heart the fact that we are individually and collectively responsible for the kind of government that we have. In essence, we are responsible for the “weak government” that we have. We should be responsible enough to elect leaders who are capable of making government agencies perform as they should and thus, protect the lives and properties of all Filipinos.

Our responsibility is not limited to electing capable government leaders. We should also make our government leaders and those who work in government accountable to us. Let us remember, that people who work in our government, whether they are elected or appointed, are mere trustees of the people. We own the power that they wield and we should thus make them account for their use of the power that we entrusted to them.

Unless we individually assume the responsibility of overhauling the safety culture of our country, we will always feel unsafe.