Press Release
September 7, 2022

Committee Report No. 2 - Walkable and Bikeable Communities Act

Good afternoon [Madame] President and distinguished colleagues:

It is my honor and privilege to co-sponsor Senate Bill No. 1290 under Committee Report No. 2, otherwise known as the "Walkable and Bikeable Communities Act."

Madame President, as a cycling enthusiast, I would like to laud Senator Pia Cayetano in prioritizing the measure that would ensure the safety of our bikers and pedestrians on the road.

Time and again, we have heard of several devastating stories of road accidents involving our fellow cyclists. According to the MMDA, 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.[1]

This year was no exception. Just last August 9, a couple riding a bicycle sustained injury after being hit by a bus along the EDSA Carousel in Pasay City. Their bicycle was run over and completely destroyed.[2]

While the pandemic made us realize the benefits of cycling not only to our health but more so for the environment, this has also opened the reality in our car-centric culture and the lack of sufficient infrastructure for our biking community. Madame President, the rise in the number of our cycling enthusiasts should not, and should never equate to a consequent rise in the number of bicycle-related accidents. However, this is the reality.

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. It is but time, Madame President, that we move from car-centric policies to a more inclusive people-centric policy.

Madame President, the approval of this bill will require the national government and the local government units to spend funds for the construction of Safe Pathways Network that shall consist of Bicycle lanes, Walkways and designation of Slow streets. This public money to be spent is expected to have a multiplier effect.

The European Cyclists' Federation (ECF) in one of their studies claimed that 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 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.

With that, [Madame] President, the enactment into law of this bill will contribute to our efforts to fully revive our economy. But more importantly, this will protect the lives of our countrymen.

To end, Madame President, 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 a reality for all. I urge my colleagues to support this very important measure.

Thank you and good afternoon again. Thank you, Madame President.




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