QUEZON CITY, October 22, 2020 – To mark World Cities Day this coming October 31, local government chief executives in Metro Manila and a major private entity in the Philippines called for collaborative action in order to establish active mobility in the country’s long-term development strategies.
“We must engage our government, let’s demand for bike lanes, let’s demand for better public transportation, let’s demand for a more equitable system for all. Together, we can make a better normal for everyone,” Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto said in an online discussion co-organized by Antique Representative and Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda and the Climate Change Commission.
Photo lifted from Congresswoman Loren Legarda’s Facebook page.
“As a mayor, nakikita ko yung problema because I bike every day. When you’re biking, your perspective is very different compared to when you’re driving in your car. Cycling allows me to see my city’s problems,” said Mayor Francis Zamora, sharing their vision to make San Juan City more progressive, sustainable, livable, and bikeable.
Representing the private sector, SM Engineering, Design, and Development President Hans Sy, Jr. shared their efforts into making their establishments more bike-friendly. “We hope to support inclusive and safe mobility and promote a culture of cycling. We have designed our bike facilities to be enjoyed by all members of the community across all ages and biking abilities, whether it be for utilitarian or recreational purposes,” he said. Sy was represented by SM Supermalls Assistant Vice President Chito Bauzon in the webinar.
In response, Maria Golda Hilario, associate for program development of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), one of the organizers of the Mobility Awards, said:
“A mobility revolution powered by people and bicycles will run on commitment and coordination across the public and private sectors. We have momentum but we need to embrace shared leadership so we can pedal together, pick up even more speed and more public support especially in times of crises.
“We echo Mayor Vico Sotto’s call to prioritize all forms of transportation, not just private cars. A better normal means the majority’s needs become the priority, as we develop together options where cyclists, commuters, jeepney and bus drivers and transport workers benefit first. Mayor Francis Zamora is also demonstrating the development benefits of promoting cycling as a mainstream mobility option in the way it helps commerce thrive in neighborhoods, promotes tourism, and supports law enforcement and literally on the ground governance. Both mayors have set the bar high in calling for greater coordination and cooperation with their neighbor cities.
“We challenge commercial establishments to prioritize the needs of the majority. SM might be big compared to other companies, but they are showing it is not size that enables bike-friendly approaches. It takes vision and commitment to create an environment that is safe and beneficial to all stakeholders, especially employees and customers.
“Today marks the last day of nominations of the Mobility Awards, an initiative that aims to provide 88% of Metro Manila households who do not own cars with reliable, sustainable, and inclusive mobility programs. We are near 300 nominations already, but this is still not enough. Nominate a bike-friendly LGU, workplace, and commercial establishment now at mobilityawards.ph and together we can achieve a sustainable, inclusive, bikeable, and movable Metro Manila sooner.”
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