DEATHS and injuries from road accidents have increased dramatically in the past two months.

Department of Health in the Cordillera Administrative Region (DOH-CAR) emergency management officer Elnoria Bugnosen said deaths and injuries from vehicular accidents have doubled in the past two months alone and have increased by more than 100 percent compared to last year.

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In 2009, three deaths and 29 injuries from January to May have been reported to the DOH. These accidents happened in the towns of Sagada in Mountain Province, Boliney in Abra, and Tuba in Benguet only.

However, from January to July 14 this year, the DOH already registered 46 deaths, mostly in Besao, Mountain Province with 15 deaths and 15 injured passengers due to a bus falling off a ravine.

Other accidents have occurred in Tublay, Tuba, Atok, Kibungan and Buguias in Benguet, Besao, Bontoc, Tadian, and Barlig in Mountain Province as well as in Tabuk, Kalinga.

For the period of May to July 14 alone, 25 deaths were already reported with an unprecedented 157 number of injured passengers due to motor vehicle accidents.

The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) also showed that of the 2009's 1,082 vehicular accidents, more than 30.30 percent of the deaths were caused by collision of vehicles with other vehicles, electric posts, and other road obstructions.

Meanwhile, data from the Baguio City Police Office Traffic Management Branch (BCPO-TMB) also revealed 146 physical injury cases due to reckless imprudence resulting to homicide from January to July this year.

The TMB also recorded another 60 cases for damage to property due to reckless driving.

For the month of June alone, the TMB also recorded 21 traffic-related incidents and five cases of hit and run accidents involving mostly school children.

In a press conference Tuesday, BCPO officer-in-charge Roberto Soriano said these cases of hit and run should be both the concern of parents and the police as the safety of children are both their utmost concern.

Bugnosen said this report is already a cause for alarm as "we are only in the middle of the year but the figures have been increasing by more than 100 percent in just two months in the region."

Road accidents have been also tagged as the fourth leading cause of mortality next only to cardiovascular, pulmonary diseases, and cancer, said Bugnosen.

Bugnosen also assured the preparedness of hospitals in the region for large-scale vehicular accidents, which she said Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center and other DOH-handled hospitals have been handling well in the past years.

"We are procuring equipment as much as we could as we tap private institutions to help us address our lack of facilities and equipment especially during disasters," she added. (JM Agreda)