PH: DOH offers psychological support to bus accident victims

2 Mar 2017, Chrisha Ane Magtubo

Psychologists and psychiatrists  will be on hand to assist survivors and their families, as well as the families of those who perished in the Tanay, Rizal bus accident, according to the Department of Health.

“Part of the protocol is to offer psychological counseling. They are suffering from trauma. If they need to, they can come back as long as the effects of the trauma are not fully erased,” said DOH Undersecretary Gerardo Bayugo.

He pointed out that survivors may have problems after the incident, citing long term issues related to decision making due to trauma. Relatives, parents of the crash may also be affected.

On February 20, 15 people – 13 of them college students – died when a bus en route to the mountain town of Tanay for an educational field trip crashed into an electric post. The post fell and crushed the roof of the bus. Thirty sustained injuries. The students were supposed to have their medical and survival training based on the National Service Training Program (NSTP).

Undersecretary Bayugo said that those affected who seek psycho-social help may visit the Amang Rodriguez Medical Center, in Marikina City, and other government hospitals for free.

The Tanay bus crash led the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to cancel educational field trips for students citing safety concerns.

In a press release emailed to MIMS, the New Vois Association of the Philippines (NVAP) expressed that what happened in Tanay is a wake-up call to reexamine the national policies on transport and road safety. The NGO calls for road safety re-drafts to save lives.

“Permanent disabilities may limit opportunities for young people for the rest of their lives,” NVAP director Einstein Rojas said, and added, “this must also be viewed as an impediment to economic development for the country as road crash injuries and deaths among the youth robs our country of talent and human resource in the future.”MIMS