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‘Move Manila Program’ ordinance signed into law by Mayor Honey

Move Manila Program
Mayor Honey Lacuna (middle) signed into law the 'Move Manila Program' ordinance declaring Roxas Boulevard free from pollution and motorized vehicles on certain hours during Sundays. With her in photo are the heads of various offices who will be involved in the program implementation. In photo with her are (from left) City Engineer Armand Andres, MASCO chief Roel de Guzman, MTPB chief Dennis Viaje, City Electrician Randy Sadac, Secretary to the Mayor Marlon Lacson, MDRRMO Director Arnel Angeles, Vice Mayor Yul Servo, Councilor Philip Lacuna, chief of staff Joshue Santiago, DPS head Nicole Kayle Amurao, MPD Director Gen. Arnold Thomas Ibay and SMaRT chief Maj. Emmark Dave Apostol. (JERRY S. TAN)

Manila Mayor Honey Lacuna signed into law Ordinance No. 9047 promoting health and wellness and introducing a pollution-free fitness program in the city by making both lanes of Roxas Boulevard ‘car-free’ during early Sunday mornings in what would be known as ‘Move Manila Program.’

Lacuna signed the ordinance a day after inspecting the said stretch over the weekend and in the presence of city officials who will be involved in the direct implementation of the measure authored by Councilor Philip Lacuna.

Aside from Councilor Philip, also present during the signing done in the mayor’s office yesterday were Vice Mayor Yul Servo who is also Council Presiding Officer, (from left) City Engineer Armand Andres, Manila Sports Council chief Roel de Guzman, Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau chief Dennis Viaje, City Electrician Randy Sadac, Secretary to the Mayor Marlon Lacson, Manila Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office Director Arnel Angeles, Chief of Staff Joshue Santiago, department of public services head Nicole Kayle Amurao, Manila Police District Director Gen. Arnold Thomas Ibay and Special Mayor’s Reaction Team chief Maj. Emmark Dave Apostol.

Under the ordinance, both lanes of Roxas Boulevard from Padre Burgos Streeet to Quirino Avenue in Manila will be closed to traffic and declared ‘car-free’ from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. starting May 26 and every Sunday thereafter, to give way to Manilans who want to engage in physical activities or exercise by walking, jogging, running, roller skating or biking, among others, free from pollution produced by motor vehicles.

The mayor said that the city of Manila recognizes the importance of physical activities to promote a healthy and active lifestyle among its constituents while in harmony with the natural and man-made environment in the city.

“Our car-free Sundays will be different from others like it because our venue is Roxas Boulevard, the most beautiful and historic boulevard in the country. We inspected Roxas Boulevard to ensure that the road will be safe for all,” the mayor said.

The ordinance, according to Councilop Philip, was based, among others, on Section 21 (a) of the Local Government Code of 1991 which states that a local government unit may, pursuant to an ordinance, permanently or temporarily close or open any local road, alley, park, or square falling within its jurisdiction.

Councilor Philip stressed that among the benefits that would be derived from the program are: increased physical activity, reduced air pollution exposure, improved mental well-being, lowered risk of chronic diseases and enhanced community engagement.

“The Move Manila Program encourages Filipinos to move more and engage in age and health appropriate regular exercises, which align with and implement the Philippine National Guidelines on Physical Activity published in 2010 by the Department of Health (DOH). It promotes mental well-being as provided in the Mental Health Act (Republic Act 11036),” he added.

Meanwhile, Councilor Philip Lacuna said his ordinance is meant to promote health and wellness and introduce a pollution-free fitness program in the city.

The re-routing of traffic flow on affected areas during the time of closure will be carefully planned and managed by the appropriate agencies to ensure the commuters of continued timely travel and efficient delivery of goods and services without delay, he added.

Light motor vehicles, he said, may be diverted to the parallel service roads along Roxas Boulevard and other side streets, while heavy motor vehicles may be rerouted to nearby main thoroughfares such as Taft Avenue.

“Medical emergency first responders and hydration stations shall be deployed at strategic locations along Roxas Boulevard for the well-being of program participants and the general public gathered participating in the activities while necessary waste management measures shall be implemented before and after each event to ensure a waste-free and healthy environment for the conduct of the program activities,” Councilor Philip said.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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