PN: Parental Negligence

While drivers are supposed to be educated on pre-cautionary measures to avoid freak accidents on the road, there are certain situations which go beyond a driver's control.

Over past years, a number of car accidents involving children have been reported, resulting in severe injuries and even death. Based on figures from the Philippine Statistics Authority, those from ages 5-9 are the most vulnerable to these accidents. While there is no tangible figure detailing the number of stray children involved in car accidents, the evidence of its normal occurrence could be seen in various public affairs programs and other media platforms.

Drivers have been the convenient blaming targets for car accidents involving children. However, it seems that no sense of accountability is bestowed upon parents of the children involved. Parental negligence is considered a contributing factor behind the sad fate which fell upon these children.

Vehicles are accorded the freedom and liberty of movement, subject to speed limit rules and regulations for various road types. On the other hand, there are various laws and policies that govern crossing streets and roads which citizens must abide to.

In the case of road discipline, no parent should allow their child to cross, linger, or stay on streets or roads unguarded. Children naturally do not possess the maturity to exercise certain responsibilities and judgment necessary to avoid any unforeseen road circumstances, thus it is incumbent upon parents to provide the necessary guidance.

While drivers are supposed to be educated on pre-cautionary measures to avoid freak accidents on the road, there are certain situations which go beyond a driver's control. Unfortunately, when it comes to road accidents involving children, it is the driver who ends up in jail. This happens despite careful and diligent driving on the driver’s part.

Due to the prevalence of these unique cases, I highly suggest that parents be held liable for negligence. Article 220 of the Family Code clearly states that parents are supposed to exercise "parental authority" over minor children. The parents' failure to perform this function should be construed as failure to exercise accountability and responsibility.

At the end of the day, two parties end-up losing the most- the driver and child. The driver usually loses his/her freedom and liberty. On the other hand, the child suffers from severe injury or even death.
While parents go through emotional and financial difficulties, their suffering pales in comparison to the impact and loss brought about by the accident to both driver and child.
Thus, Parental Negligence should also be penalized. Our society must not tolerate bad parenting. Our country should also stop nurturing and breeding bad parents.

About the Author
Mr. Aaron Benedict De Leon is currently a Business Development Practitioner in a private consulting firm. He has more than six years of professional experience in leading and managing political and non-government organizations, specializing in organizational management, policy development and program management. He has had stints with notable political/socio-civic organizations, serving in various capacities as: Secretary-General of the Centrist Democratic Party of the Philippines (CDP) [2013-2015], Founding Chairperson of the Centrist Democratic Youth Association of the Philippines (CDYAP) [2012-2014], Philippine Representative to the International Young Democrat Union (IYDU) [2011-2012], Chairperson of the Christian Democratic Youth [2011-2012], Secretary-General of YOUTH Philippines [2010-2011], and Spokesperson/Communications Director of the GT2010 Gilbert Teodoro Presidential Campaign [2009-2010].
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