The Road Safety Journalism Fellowship Program has mentored 21 journalists in the Philippines.
VERA Files opened the second phase of the Road Safety Journalism Fellowship on March. Eleven journalists from television, radio, print and online media organizations were chosen to be part of the fellowship.
Road safety stakeholders composed of advocates from civil society and the government were among the resource speakers in the 2 ½-day training-seminar. These include World Health Organization, Department of Transportation and the Ateneo School of Government, VERA Files’ partners in the Fellowship.
Other resource persons include representatives from the University of the Philippines-National Center for Transportation Studies, Imagine Law and World Bank.
The speakers presented the global and local road safety situation, highlighting road crashes as an urgent public health issue.
Meet the Road Safety Fellows:
Froilan Bacungan Jr.
A motoring journalist since 2015, Froilan is currently a digital producer for CNN Philippines. Though he covers a wide range of topics published on their website, road safety issues continue to remain a focus for him. For the fellowship, he will report on the safety features in automobiles plying Philippine roads as well as the post–crash response in the country.
Zhander has been going around Metro Manila delivering news reports as a Radyo Patrol (Radio Patrol) reporter for DZMM, the radio station of broadcast giant ABS-CBN. Since 2011, he has covered the general assignments beat, which includes transportation. He intends to produce stories on the speed limiter law and the jeepney modernization program of the Department of Transportation.
A veteran journalist of almost 20 years, Mhike is a television, online and radio correspondent from Bataan in Central Luzon. He will look into Bataan’s so-called “killer highway” and the laws banning motorycles in Philippine highways.
Irish is a news producer and writer for Central Luzon Television-36. One of the youngest journalists in the group, she will study the implementation of the Motorycle Act of 2009 in Central Luzon. She will also take a look at how Filipinos cope with trauma after a road crash.
A former writer and section editor of ABS-CBN’s news website, Miguel is now a reporter for ABS-CBN. He produces transport and road-safety related stories for all of the network’s news programs and platforms. For the project, he will produce reports which tackle the distracted driving law and the Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act of 2013
Ted Aldwin Ong
Ted has been a print and online journalist for 16 years. He is currently a writer and columnist for the Iloilo Metropolitan Times, covering developmental issues in Western Visayas, specifically Iloilo City. He will monitor the implementation of speeding and drunk driving laws in main thoroughfares in Iloilo City, one of the more road safety focused cities in the Philippines.
John Evan Orias
Evan has been a reporter and deskman at Malaya Business Insight for the past four years. For the fellowship, he will be writing about road safety issues along Epifanio de los Santos Avenue or EDSA, the country’s central highway.
A reporter for Central Luzon Television- 36, Reiniel delivers the daily news, covering transportation issues around the region. He will produce stories on overloading in motorcycles and the road-worthiness of public utility vehicles in Central Luzon.
A journalist for six years, Makoi is currently a news correspondent for CNN Philippines, covering the transportation beat. For the fellowship, he will dig into the “no helmet” ordinances in various cities around the country that directly contradict a national law on helmet use. Makoi will also probe drug use among public utility drivers in Metro Manila.
Alanah is a writer and photojournalist who cover various topics such as climate change, natural disasters, human rights and other political issues. A journo for more than a decade, her works have been featured in both local and international publications. She will write about initiatives to provide safer roads to vulnerable road users in the country and delve into the dangers of the boundary system in public transportation.
A former correspondent and producer for two broadcast corporations in the country, Jerald now maintains a blog, writing about a wide range of subjects. For the project, he will produce several video blogs on how the seat belt law covering public utility vehicles is being implemented.