QUEZON CITY, 22 May 2020 – Antique Representative and Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda today called on the Metro Manila Council under the Metro Manila Development Authority to set up protected bike lanes and develop a bike masterplan.
This was followed by Col. Edison ‘Bong’ Nebrija, MMDA traffic operations chief, commenting this morning that “we are moving towards the New Normal with many citizens advocating for sustainable and inclusive mobility. I’m glad our lawmakers are stepping up to make this possible.”
Reacting to this, Renato Redentor Constantino, executive director of the climate and energy policy group Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), said:
“Representative Loren Legarda´s move is the kind of leadership the country needs as the public grapples with the pandemic and the worsening climate crisis. Her call was already common sense before the onset of COVID-19 and it´s even more urgent now to look far ahead instead of returning to the discredited urban transport thinking of the past. Moving people instead of cars, and focusing on commuters rather than private vehicles, promotes local commerce and cohesive neighborhoods, with healthier citizens and climate contributions as co-benefits. It’s time to pedal our way to progress, together.
“Her voice is a critical contribution to the clamor from citizens and the many responsive national and local government officials who see cycling as key to healing the nation today but also in producing a healthier economy for the future. We honor volunteer groups such as Life Cycles PH and MNL Moves, and their communities of lenders and donors, for continuing to empower frontliners.
“We need system-thinking rather than fragmented approaches. Build, build, build should not be about colossal infrastructure alone. It must focus on making the veins of the economy flow in a feeder system that creates seamless options from rail to bicycle to buses and jeepneys, enabling most of all the best and most common mode of transport ever, which is walking.
“Mobility is an essential aspiration of the majority of our people. Investing in walkable cities where cycling can flourish and local business can thrive is promoting democracy as well, because it focuses on the majority of the public. We encourage people with access to bikes to cycle to work to give seats or space they would have taken up in the MRT or buses to people with disabilities and those who can´t bike to work for now.”
Constantino, Life Cycles PH founder Keisha Mayuga, and MNL Moves founder Aldrin Pelicano are joining Deputy Speaker Legarda’s online talk show on biking and mobility next Thursday, May 28, ahead of World Bike Day on June 3. They will be joined by Nazrin Castro, country branch manager of the Climate Reality Project in the Philippines.
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