SENATOR Grace Poe has asked the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to include in its budget funding for walking and cycling infrastructures under the 'new normal' amidst the continuing threats of the pandemic.
"Marami sa ating mga kababayan ang nagbibisikleta na para lamang makapasok sa trabaho sa gitna ng pandemya. Ang kanilang pagtitiyaga ay suklian natin ng karampatang proteksyon,"Poe stressed.
A biker fell unconscious along EDSA last Friday and died later, the Metro Manila Development Authority said, as public transport constraints hounded commuters under the lockdown.
"This is our chance to make our cities more bikeable and walkable, and thus more liveable," Poe said.
The senator's call is in line with the recommendations of the COVID-19 Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging and Infectious Diseases to promote alternative modes of mobility.
The chair of the Senate committee on public services is the author of Senate Bill No. 588 or the proposed Bicycle-Friendly Communities Act of 2019, which seeks to construct exclusive lanes for cyclists in all primary and secondary roads and provide parking spaces for bicycles in all public and private institutions.
"This is an important step in our bicycle-friendly path to inclusive growth. We should build segregated and covered bicycle lanes to ensure the safety and convenience of our riders," Poe emphasized.
Earlier, Move as One Coalition proposed that the government invest P110 billion to improve urban mobility. This includes 1,600 kilometers of walking and cycling infrastructures, and purchase of 100,000 bikes and 5,000 bike racks for bicycle-sharing programs in Metro Manila and other highly urbanized cities.
Poe has referred the proposal to the DOTr in a letter to Secretary Arthur Tugade for timely assessment and due consideration.