Home > Amiel Alcantara > your suggestions on how to improve and changes to traffic safety at the ateneo GS

your suggestions on how to improve and changes to traffic safety at the ateneo GS

what happened to Amiel SHOULD NEVER AGAIN HAPPENat the ateneo campus!  as we grieve and shed tears for Amiel,  that is the singular thought we should all have.

we are asking readers of this blog to please let us know of your ideas and suggestions on what the Ateneo school authorities can do to make sure the tragic death of amiel is never again repeated in campus.

we will let the ateneo school authorities know of your suggestions. we will ask ateneo school authorities to read this blog and at the same we will be sending them hard copies of your suggestions.

scene of the accident

the spot where amiel died. it is now marked with flowers and lit candles.

we are aware that many of you have already posted your suggesti0ns attached in the other posts. please take take to cut and paste the suggestions  you made to this post. it would be more productive if we centralize all your suggestions to one section of this blog.  

to give your suggestions, click “comments” at the bottom right of this post and type your suggestions.

these are my suggestions:
  • there is a need to change the thinking and philosophy behind the traffic management on campus – the whole traffic system, including the security guards should be re-oriented to make the safety of the children their primary concern and not to speed up traffic flow. at the moment, the whole system and the security guards seem to think only of speeding up traffic flow and not safety of the school children.
  • we need to recognize that mixing children together with moving vehicles (cars, huge vans and huge SUVs) in the same space is an accident waiting to happen.
  • the new traffic and safety plan should adapt the thinking that it needs to develop one that will ensure the safety of the youngest school children – from prep to grade 3. developing a traffic and safety system with them in my mind will make it very sensitive to the needs of these little boys.
Categories: Amiel Alcantara
  1. RFA
    February 27, 2009 at 10:34 am

    I have 2 boys in the Ateneo Grade School. One of the dsturbing things I see everyday is that especially during dismissal, the students, whether alone or with fetchers just cross that big driveway anywhere… even if there is a pedestrian lane.

    Yes, Ateneo should do domething about their traffic managment system but at the same time, students, fetchers, parents should also observe the rules. Security guards should be strict to only let students cross in pedestrian lanes where these guards are stationed.

    Everytime I bring and pick up my sons to school, we always head to the pedestrian lane when crossing the street.. even if we have to walk a bit farther.

  2. LagpasLimbas
    February 27, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    Survival rate during accidents is measured in mere seconds, and a first rate medical and evacuation team should be put on stand by alert during school days and special events. The core team will be manned by medical professional paid by the school of course, but the secondary team composed of volunteers could come from the Boys Scouts and ROTC cadets or maybe even fathers of Ateneo boys who could spare the time and extra effort. Training of the secondary team could be sourced thru Red Cross or to other rescue teams with enough training experience and facilities. Duties and task could be rotated amongst the volunteers similar to what the Chinese fire brigade is doing right now.

  3. jonas
    February 28, 2009 at 1:35 am

    ilipat yun parking area ng mga teacher…maglakad na lang sila ng konti…maski ilagay sa likod.. area will serve as an additional exit point…

    Bawasan yun area para sa football field… aanin mo ang football field na bihira mo gamitin… compare mo sa safe na area para sa pagsakay at pag baba ng mga bata… yun hindi ka pressured …. hind i ka nagmamadali…ok lang kung medyo malayo .. SOBRANG LAKI PA NG ATENEO…

    ipagbawal yun temporary 4 lane loading and unloading zone 15 mins before dismissal time..pressured ang mga tao… na sumakay at umalis… nagmamadali… . cars and kids don’t mix….

    lakihan yun mga sidewalks ..paglakarin yun mga bata… sa sidewalk… hindi sa gitna ng kalsada… train natin sila gumamit ng pedestrian lane… dapat may crossing monitor maski around dismissal time lang…

    Mag hire ng safety engineer para pagaralan yun traffic flow sa loob…

    Pustahan tayo… in 2 weeks bakasyon na… next school year.. nakalimutan na ito… balik na naman ulit yun impiyerno tuwing dismissal time…

    wala silang paki alam sa safety ng mga bata… ok lang sa kanila makipag patintero ang ating mga anak sa mga sasakyan…

    mas importante yun tuition fee increase …
    mas importante yun dalawang magandang football field .. take note dalawa pa ito… na bihira gamitin…
    mas importante yun malapit parking ng mga guro… bawal maglakad ng malayo ang ating mga guro… wawa naman sila…


    sino sa atin ang nakaisip sa mga anak ni mrs. torres?
    sana naman mag reach out ang mga pari o maski yun guidance counselor o kahit sino… para tulugan yun mga bata…

    nakakaawa si amiel at ang kaniyang pamilya…. pero sa tinging ko mas nakakaawa yun mga anak ni mrs. torres…

  4. February 28, 2009 at 3:40 am

    I think the whole system of safety and prevention in Ateneo de Manila University esp the Grade School should be evaluated.

  5. smo
    February 28, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    hi.. i’m not a mother nor a student of ateneo. but what i can suggest is that you do the same with the system of traffic like in moa. if you are familiar with the way SM mall of asia handles pediastrian crossing the street then i guess you’ll know it’s a good suggestion. Have a traffic security guard be in front that lane where he can show a go and stop signal for the cars. when people are crossing the streets, he can hold the stop sign. if there are no people crossing, eh di syempre go signal. disiplina na lang din sa mga taong tumatawid. know where they should cross and where they cannot cross.

    if you do not want speeding cars, ok na suggestion iyon sa itaas. then put some humps for them to slow down.

  6. Anna
    February 28, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    I think Ateneo has been fairly responsible and proactive in trying to find ways to ease the traffic. But due to the sheer volume, it will be be unavoidable – much like Edsa. There were more than 10,000 people on campus during the championship celebrations and Ateneo coped by increasing security and parking spots. There are ways. I hope they finally give in to the pleas for a multi-level parking building. The volume will not go down and I still want my sons to enjoy the open field, its one of the luxuries that Ateneo can still afford to keep. Pwede naman to go vertical for parking. And then pwede magka shuttle. And I think a lot of us are willing to walk even if its far. I also agree there should be more crossing guards, madaming blind spots at madaming bata. We can have a central video monitoring system, emergency services on standby. And I also wish there are other drop off points. Maybe by the driveway behind Irwin Theatre as long as may entry to the caf.

  7. March 4, 2009 at 11:03 am

    would suggest Ateneo to study the traffic flow, identify high risk areas of their pick up and drop off point and present to the parents a formidable plan to ensure the safety of students. Even if it takes sacrificing part of their football field to do this, they have to make this hard decision. As nothing will replace the safety of a child over and above anything else.

    – from reader Mike Blanch

  8. karen
    March 4, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    i need to contact anyone from wawam asap

  9. March 5, 2009 at 5:56 am

    from mario rotea jr.:

    More than more security guards and traffic education, we need to give student vehicles a dedicated parking space where they do not have to be in constant motion creeping from one end of the pick up zone to another.

    These vehicles are tons of moving metal powered by hundred horsepower engines. The line of site of most of these vans and SUVs are way above the height of most children specially when they are moving backwards. No amount of guards can supervise the movement of hundreds of vehicles or watch every child moving through this maze. Amiel’s movement was in fact supervised by an adult which emphasizes the reality and unpredictability of a freak accident.

    These vehicles in wait during pick up time are 3 or 4 lanes deep and only a few feet apart . There is only one “thru” lane that often extends to Katipunan Ave.and everybody that has picked up his kid from the “waiting lane” is getting into it. There is hardly any room for error and yet oftentimes you see tempers of drivers heating up in frustration.

    This sounds like a recipe for accidents.
    We need to put a reasonable amount of space between these tons of moving metal of better yet, keep them still in static parking. These vehicles are in constant motion by inching forward, backing up or getting out from an inner lane which greatly increases probability of something going wrong.

    I would go for, as some has suggested, of opening more parking and making these safely accessible to the students.

    I would rather have my son walk a hundred meters farther but knowing he will not have to get close to a moving vehicle until he is inside his own.

    Let the “drop zone” be a dedicated drop zone where children can get off right at the side walk and not have to cross a car after he gets off his own.

    We have been so comfortable inside and around our cars that it is hardly associated with danger. Fact is, it can be as dangerous as a gun and should be handled with equal care. Only difference is – anybody can get a license to drive.

  10. March 5, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    sent by email from Maria Soccorro Bautista, mom of an Ateneo high school student:


    Suggested Safety Measures for AGS

    1. If possible, build a multi-storey parking structure (perhaps in front of the football field fronting Katipunan or beside the football field) for cars to park at while waiting for the boys. This will drastically reduce the number of cars at the pick-up points.

    2. Whether (1) is possible or not, allow only one lane curb-side pick-up and drop-off at AGS dismissal lane (as well as the inner driveway). Never have a situation where students cross 4 lanes of traffic to get to their car.

    3.Install humps every 5 ft. going along the driveway towards the designated pedestrian crossing area to enforce the speed limit. Have only one designated pedestrian crossing area manned by traffic personnel. Traffic personnel should be deployed every 10-15 ft along the driveways to ensure that drivers obey traffic rules.

    4.Allow parents, yayas, drivers to wait for their sons/wards at the AGS canteen and the gazebo in front of the canteen so they can accompany the boys to the curbside where the adult can call the driver by cellphone for curbside pickup or the parent can cross the designated pedestrian crossing area manned by traffic personnel with the son.

    5.Allow students, esp. those in the middle school, to have cell phones that they can use only at dismissal (like at the AHS) to call their parents/drivers for pickup by the curbside driveway. This will minimize idling time of cars in the driveway and having to look for the boys inside the school premises at dismissal.

  11. typicalmom
    March 9, 2009 at 11:44 am

    I’m surprised that nobody has mentioned this yet, but there is one little detail being overlooked, a minor detail which could be a contributory factor to the traffic problem, and this is — the students’ huge BAGS.

    We live in Loyola Heights, so ideally, we could just park near the Katipunan restaurants and walk up the overpass to get to Ateneo. We could arrive faster by foot, then just walk back and drive home via Esteban Abada. However, my son’s enormous bag makes it impossible to go up and down the overpass! So we end up taking the long route — making two U-turns on Katipunan, and adding to the traffic inside Ateneo — just to transport the BAG!

    In the mornings, unloading time takes twice as long, because the drivers first attend to the boys, and then make a second trip to the car to unload the bag from the trunk.

    During dismissal time, parents send not only their drivers to fetch the kids, but the yayas too, because while the yaya takes care of the kid, the driver takes care of the bag. And woe to the boy with only one fetcher, because the fetcher is too busy lugging the cumbersome bag that the boy is often left alone, trailing behind.

    You can hardly walk in a straight line through the sea of big blue bags in the covered sidewalk without tripping or being side-swiped. A huge bag is practically the size of one small boy, so just imagine, without these, the corridors would be only half as crowded and so much more navigable.

    Why can’t it be “small-bag day” everyday? Do they really have to take all their books home each day of the week? Several LAS papers containing that day’s homework should suffice. What’s so wrong about leaving their books in their lockers, or even under their desks in school overnight? Does anyone steal school books? As long as they’re properly labeled, it should be ok to leave books in school.

    An unnecessary volume of books is transported twice a day, back and forth, consuming more GAS, more MANPOWER, and more TIME. Aside from creating solutions to traffic and parking within Ateneo AGS, maybe we should also think outside the box, via a simple physics equation — in that reducing the volume of transportation begins with reducing the amount of mass being transported.

  12. bluegadfly
    March 10, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    Japanese school children carry only what be accommodated in their backpacks called “randoseru”. Yes, every day is “small bag” day for them.
    Hindi ko nga alam sa AGS eh. Kailangan bang maleta ang dalhin araw araw? I still maintain that the heavy luggage our children carry feeds our car crazy culture at the AGS.

  13. ateneo alum
    March 11, 2009 at 10:09 am

    Ateneo GS and the parents are complicit in this.

    who buys the bags? i had a backpack back in my days in the GS. these days, the stroller bags are a status symbol. they start so young don’t they? next up, BMWs and Benzes that their parents crave. Who buys the kids these bags? Their parents. Because they can’t say no. For the same reason they buy them P6000 sneakers, P25000 celphones and P15000 iPods. Don’t buy them the big bags and they’ll find other ways to cope. I amazed at how parents would like to find as many “other” people to blame. Only need to look at yourself. Eh?

    And Ateneo should ease up on homework. Let kids be kids. School work in school. let them be kids at home.

    • March 11, 2009 at 10:21 am

      the stroller bags are not a status symbol, IT IS A NECCESSITY. in fact it is necessary for the health of the children.

      the fact is the books and everything else the kids need to bring to school are simply too heavy and too bulky for the kids to carry on their shoulders in a backpack. the kids need to walk quite a distance from the AGS gate to their classrooms. the stroller bags make it easy for them to bring their bags to their classrooms and less risk to back injuries.

      even teachers who are adults use stroller containers they use to help them transport their stuff from the teacher’s lounge to the classrooms.

  14. ateneo alum
    March 11, 2009 at 10:11 am

    you don’t know what you’re talking about. di mo alam ang pinagsasabi mo kaya pabayaan mo na lang kaming may alam kung ano ang ateneo ang magusap dito. k?

    • March 11, 2009 at 10:16 am

      ateneo alum – take it on easy on this one. everyone is entitled to their own opinion. i know what you are getting at but let that one slide.

      • ateneo alum
        March 11, 2009 at 11:42 am

        point taken. will tone it down.

        it annoys the hell out of me to hear this “ang dami ninyong soccer fields!!! gawin ninyong parking lot!!! ano ba kayo??? ang taas taas ng tuition ninyo at kulang ang parking????”

        such a tragic event, and people are using it for Ateneo sniping. i’ve been living my whole life with people insecure about Ateneans. i don’t care about that.

        but to use the death of a boy to further the Ateneo bashing is just inexcusable.

        i will withdraw for now.

        • jonas
          April 21, 2009 at 4:45 am

          di ba tama ako…. april 20 na ……
          ano ang pagbabago?

          WALA… WALA… WALA…. at WALA

          isang buwan na lang… pasukan na…. ano ang pagbabago nakikita mo mo? kanina… may gardener na nag trim ng bouganvilla malapit sa Mc Bo’s (masarap pala lunch dito at mura pa) … janitor na nag blower ng leaves… yun… lang nakita ko kanina….

          puros rhetoric’s…. puros dada… sayang ang laway…. sa tutuoo lang magagaling ang mga atenista… magpaikot ng mga salita… dumada……

          ano ang nagawa na? something concrete ?
          WALA … WALA…. WALA….

          nag buo sila ng “AGS Multi-Stakeholder Committee”…. ANO yun?.. short cut para to buy time…. para kunwari may ginagawa sila until… mawala na ito sa headlines…. makalimutan….

          iho….sa name mo… mukahang die hard atenean ka rin… yun type na nag self declare na national non-working holiday kapag ateneo lasalle game na…
          (at least maski sa planta lang namin)

          iho…ateneo grad din po ako….
          from prep to law school…. pero kung ikaw grad na sa ateneo…
          tatlo sa anak ko nasa ateneo grade school pa….

          dati ..binaba ko rin ang mga anak ko kung saan mismong na accidente si amiel….


        • jonas
          April 21, 2009 at 4:57 am

          Wow galing…. dami daw insecure sa mga atenista… yan ang typical atenista… feeling…. feeling….
          ewan… baka mabaril pa ako….

          di ko ginagamit yun accidente for ateneo bashing…. kasi part rin ako ng ateneo family… ( maski prodigal son … anak pa rin..)

          AT 3 sa anak ko nasa AGS… at naglalakad sila kung saan naaccidente si amiel….

        • jonas
          April 21, 2009 at 5:02 am

          taga admi ka no? biro lang…

        • jonas
          April 21, 2009 at 5:07 am

          na annoy … pala kita sa impiyerno…
          sorry na po…

          • jonas
            April 21, 2009 at 5:10 am

            from ateneo alum
            “it annoys the hell out of me to hear this” sorry ulit…

  15. kidcainta
    March 11, 2009 at 10:55 am

    I have no kids studying in Ateneo but I was really emotionally affected by this tragic incident. Maybe because I also have a grade 4 son. I just would like to know who did the investigation on the cause of the accident. Did the vehicle of Ms. Torres had mechanical malfunction? Why I ask this is because I saw in the news that her car or van is a converted vehicle most likely from Subic. (Right-hand drive converted to left-hand drive). I personally know some people who had accidents with their converted vehicles by losing control of the steering wheel. This is the usual cause of accidents by converted vehicles, among others. If this is the reason then you should also consider this in your plan to improve the traffic safety in Ateneo. Moreover, the government should also get involved to study the road worthiness and safety of these converted vehicles.

    • ateneo alum
      March 11, 2009 at 11:47 am

      this so called defect. how often does it happen? excuse me for my skepticism, but suddenly this phantom defect surfaces because …well because of necessity. right?

      the van looks good. mukha naman walang bangga. if this defect has been there from the start, then it should have happened before.

      but no, it just coincidentally happens when Ms. Torres is behind the wheel.

      the simpler explanation is that Ms. Torres is not a proficient driver. she has a driver in her employ right? and for whatever reason, she mishandled the van. and as a result, a boy is dead.

      i hear that the van has been impounded. if it’s not tampered with, then we can see if this theory can hold water.

      but from where i’m standing, occam’s razor rips this one to shreds. sorry, try again.

  16. ateneo alum
    March 11, 2009 at 11:51 am

    The suggestions about the drop zone are all well good.

    But people forget one thing. Parents will try to circumvent this rule so they can get out faster. We only have to remember what Ms. Torres was doing that day.
    They were parked in what is supposed to be moving traffic lanes. They were using the moving traffic lane as THEIR DROPZONE.

    Parents will continue to do this unless there’s enforcement. Oh and good luck with that. In my experience, parents don’t take well to being told what they can or can’t do. Just take the closing the Uturn slot in front of gate 2. Remember the complaints then?

    My point being, any new regulation will work only if the parents will follow and observe.

    Otherwise, it’s all sound and fury signifying nada.

  17. alma
    May 21, 2009 at 5:45 pm

    One of the problem we encounter everyday is people are doing something over what they should be doing, its like crossing the walkway with disregard to the rules of crossing it.

    As we were educated before STOP LOOK & LISTEN!!!

    Stop before crossing the street
    Look for incoming vehicles or check out the stop lights
    >if it is red then cross the street
    >if green then stop & wait before the light changes to red
    >Listen if you can hear vehicle engines

    but in today’s everyday commute

    We don’t stop when the stoplights are green we think were vehicles.

    Look > at cell phones or mp4 players instead of looking if there’s an incoming vehicle

    Listen > again to mp3 players or other music player.

    SELF-DISCIPLINE is very important.

    Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what can you do for you country!!!

  18. Albert Say
    June 24, 2012 at 7:58 am

    wow so much have been said. I’ll put the blame on the Drivers……..

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