Senator Bato Dela Rosa has co-sponsored and sought immediate passage of Senate Bill No. 1290 under Committee Report No. 2, otherwise known as the “Walkable and Bikeable Communities Act” for the safety of all Filipinos.
“With the passage of this measure, we can ensure the safety of all of our kababayans, may they be pedestrians, cyclists or motorists. Ang panukalang batas na ito ay hindi lamang para sa ating mga siklista kundi para sa seguridad ng bawat Pilipino,” Dela Rosa said in his co-sponsorship speech.
The legislator, a cycling enthusiast, was alarmed by stories of road accidents involving cyclists.
According to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, 2,397 road crashes involving bikers have been reported in 2021, 33 of which resulted in death, while 1,719 resulted in non-fatal injuries.
A total of 645 incidents resulted in damage to property.
Last August 9, a couple riding a bicycle sustained injuries after being hit by a bus in Pasay City.
“The rise in the number of our cycling enthusiasts should not and should never equate to a consequent increase in the number of bicycle-related accidents.”
The lawmaker said the rise in the number of cycling enthusiasts should not and should never equate to a consequent increase in the number of bicycle-related accidents.
The senator stressed that while the pandemic made people realize the benefits of cycling not only to health but also to the environment, this has also opened the reality of “our car-centric culture and the lack of sufficient infrastructure for our biking community.”
He said approval of the bill would require the national government and the local government units to spend funds for the construction of the Safe Pathways Network, which shall consist of bicycle lanes, walkways, and designated slow streets.
“This public money to be spent is expected to have a multiplier effect.”
“This public money to be spent is expected to have a multiplier effect,” Dela Rosa said.
A European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) study said cycling delivers significant economic gains in the European Union.
According to ECF, the health benefits due to reduced mortality amount to 114-121 billion EUR, or the benefits of congestion easing to ca 25 billion EUR.
Cycling also creates jobs. At current levels of cycling, more than 650,000 jobs in the EU are linked to the sector.
If the cycling modal share was doubled, more than 400,000 extra jobs could be created.
“Hopefully, with our public investment in the establishment of Safe Pathways Network, we can reap the same economic benefits,” Dela Rosa said.
“I join the call of our fellow cyclists of Move as One Transport Coalition that ‘Filipino cyclists should arrive alive’ and it is incumbent upon us, as legislators, to make this call reality for all. I urge my colleagues to support this very important measure,” he concluded.