A movement seeking to teach one million Filipino drivers driving techniques and help clean up the air while promoting road safety is set to sweep the country.
Dubbed “1’M Blue” (pronounced I’m Blue) in reference to the number of drivers it aims to educate in fuel-efficient and safe driving and the clean blue skies it aspires for, the multi-sectoral movement was launched on July 30 at the Ayala Museum in Makati City, Philippines.
In his opening speech, Tatsuya Natsume, Honda Cars Phils. Inc. President and General Manager, traced the roots of 1’M Blue: “In 2010, we embarked on the Clean Fleet Management Program. With our partners, we were able to train about 400 personnel from government offices and over 200 individuals from private companies. Our team has now grown bigger and better with 12 organizations from the private sector, government, civil society, and media who are convenors of the 1’M Blue eco-safe driving program.”
Bonar Laureto, Executive Director of the Philippine Business for the Environment said, “If we continue using the old model (of doing seminars with small groups), it will take us 15 years to reach a million drivers. We have got to change gears!” He called on the business community to help support the 1’M Blue vision by having their employees and company drivers undergo 1’M Blue eco-safe driver certification.
“Eco-driving of 1 million jeepney and truck drivers by 2020 would result in Php 7 billion (or $171 million USD) in fuel savings and 5% reduction in PM10 and CO2 emissions per vehicle. This analysis is based on a recently conducted study on reducing emissions from transport,” adds Sophie Punte, Executive Director of Clean Air Initiative for Asian Cities.
Being part of the solution
1’M Blue presents a rather simple yet ambitious solution to the environmental problems brought about by our dependence on the internal combustion engine: teach one million Filipino drivers to be more fuel-efficient and safer drivers.
The 1’M Blue educational campaign will have the following components:
Videos – There will be 13 1’M Blue instructional videos explaining simple eco-safe driving techniques. These videos will be shown at LTO offices, partner cinemas, and on TV via GMA
Social networking media – The instructional videos will also be uploaded on the internet, complemented by articles further explaining the eco-safe driving techniques, climate change and other environmental issues, and how these can be solved through the concerted efforts of everyone.
Driver training seminars – Professional 1’M Blue driving instructors will be conducting both public and private eco-safe driving seminars with hands-on training all over the country. The private seminars are geared towards corporations wanting to reduce their fleet’s impact on the environment, improve their safety record, and reduce their operating expenses. The eco-safe driving courses will be offered through PAC Fleet Solutions with veteran race car driver and environmentalist Georges Ramirez and the Honda Safety Driving Center.
Clean Fleet management – 1’M Blue can work with companies wanting to walk their environmental talk by helping these companies do an air pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions inventory for their fleets; improve their preventive maintenance programs; and train drivers, mechanics, and fleet managers. The ultimate goal of Clean Fleet management is to improve the fleet’s overall fuel efficiency.
1’M Blue drivers not only help save lives and help save the environment; eco-safe driving techniques have been proven to reduce fuel consumption by 5 to 25 percent too. Every Filipino driver now has a reason to cheerfully declare, “1’M Blue!”