SUBIC BAY FREEPORT— Well-known for enforced traffic rules and road discipline and safety, this premier free port will soon be the home of the country’s first Road Safety Park.
Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr., assisted by Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman Roberto Garcia and Federation Internationale de I’Automobile (FIA) president Jean Todt, broke ground on Wednesday the construction of the park at the former US naval magazine complex here.
The park groundbreaking was part of the five-day Asia Pacific Drive Tourism Conference that opened at the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center on January 29.
Jimenez said the park project was “one of the most important part of the Drive Tourism conference in Subic.”
“Drive tourism” refers to tourists taking leisure trips to destinations in their own or rented vehicles. It is now a rapidly growing sector of the tourism market in the Philippines and abroad.
Jimenez described the park as a miniature community complete with established traffic rules such as traffic signs and pavement markings. It will also have buildings like fast-food restaurants, bank, supermarket, library and shops.
The park’s mission is to inculcate road safety values among children and to improve their knowledge, skills and behavior as road users.
“Safety is part of the sustainability that will make driving a most pleasurable part of going around the Philippines. When we are all safety-conscious, we will all feel the pleasure of the driving,” Jimenez also said.
SBMA Chairman Roberto Garcia, meanwhile, welcomed the construction of the Road Safety Park here, saying there is no other place in the Philippines where every motorist observes traffic signs and stops at the corner of the road even there is no traffic enforcer in the area to flag him.
“When in Subic, local motorists learn the way of road courtesy and follow traffic rules. That is why, Subic is the ideal place for the Road Safety Park where people will learn more about road safety,” Garcia added.
With the theme “Saving Lives, Saving Costs, Saving the Planet,” the Asia Pacific Drive Tourism Conference features discussions and presentations on the latest innovations in the automobile industry, road safety, mobility, motorsports, as well as travel and tourism from both local and international specialists.
The conference was organized by the Automobile Association of the Philippines (AAP), the country’s largest auto club with over 50,000 members, the Department of Tourism, and the SBMA.