“Walkable and Bikeable Communities Act”
Committee Report of the Committee on Sustainable Development Goals, Innovation and Futures Thinking; Public Works; and Finance
SJEE is author of Senate Bill 472 – “Safe Pathways Network Act” which was reported out in SBN 1290 Committee Report 2
Madam President, distinguished colleagues, I am honored to co-sponsor Senate Bill 1290 under Committee Report No. 2 of the Senate Committees on Sustainable Development Goals, Innovation and Futures Thinking; Public Works; and Finance.
Allow me to express my sincerest gratitude to our indefatigable advocate of health, sports and sustainable development here in the Senate, my kumare, the good lady senator from Taguig City and Pateros, Sen. Pia Cayetano, for swiftly acting on the bill filed by this representation. I would like to commend her for readily bringing the said measure for plenary sponsorship today.
Madam President, through this bill, we can witness the persistence and swiftness of action of our good chairperson, in once again pushing for the passage of this timely and worthwhile legislation, which was already unanimously approved by this August chamber last year, during the 18th Congress, and was then known as the “Safe Pathways Network Act.”
This measure may seem quite simple in form and intent, but is truly lofty in ambition. It offers a very practical solution to problems that encompasses a range of pressing social concerns such as, public health, ecological integrity, clean and affordable energy, innovation, efficient public transportation and infrastructure, among others.
And, on the part of this humble representation, I view this as a timely pro-poor measure. Maituturing na kalbaryo para sa marami nating kababayan ang araw-araw at mahabang oras ng pakikipag-siksikan at pagpila sa mga istasyon ng tren, ng bus, ng jeep at pati na rin ng tricycle at padyak. Idagdag pa ang kawalan ng maayos na sistema at imprastraktura, pati na rin ang kakulangan sa masasakyan papasok at pauwi galing sa trabaho lalo na’t nasa panahon pa rin tayo ng pandemya. Ang mga Pilipinong mananakay ang isa sa mga unang umaaray kada mag-tataas ang presyo ng pamasahe dahil sa pagsirit ng presyo ng gasolina at diesel, at kada may isyu ng tigil pasada o transportation strike.
Kaya naman, isang praktikal na alternatibo sa paglalakbay ng maraming Pilipino ang paggamit ng bisikleta. Ngunit nakakalungkot na marami sa ating mga lansangan ang nananatiling hindi ligtas para sa mga bikers.
As presented during the hearing, we learned that 20% of households own bikes, only 5% have cars. There was also a significant growth – in fact, a 100% increase in the number of households with bicycles both in the National Capital Region and in urban areas nationwide.
85% of Filipinos also agree that it is possible for their city or municipality to become a great place for walking and cycling.
I laud the efforts of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the DPWH for opening hundreds of kilometers of bike lanes in major cities all over the country. We hope that with this legislation, the same will be institutionalized and more will be made available for bikers.
This bill responds to the public clamor for safe road structure and enhanced facilities for an efficient transport options, para sa mga gustong magbisikleta o maglakad na lamang. This measure is also among the priority measures identified in the updated Philippine Development Plan, specifically in areas of modernizing public transportation and transitioning to the new normal, and in ensuring clean and healthy environment.
Sa patuloy na hirap na nararanasan ng ating mga kababayan, sa pagtaas ng presyo ng gasolina, ng kuryente, ng bilihin, ng pamasahe at ng iba pa, nakakatutuwang mayroon tayong solusyon upang maibsan ang gastos at hirap ng pagko-komyut na parehong may buting idudulot sa kalusugan, sa kapaligiran, at sa positibo at sustainable na pamumuhay. I look forward that this measure will be enacted into law at the soonest possible time. Maraming salamat po.