Senate approves Walkable, Bikeable Communities Act | Inquirer News

Senate approves Walkable, Bikeable Communities Act

/ 06:40 PM September 27, 2022
Senate approves Walkable, Bikeable Communities Act

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UPDATED MANILA, Philippines — The Senate on Tuesday approved on third and final reading a measure that seeks to institutionalize active transport by establishing a safe pathways network.

Senate Bill No. 1290 or the Walkable and Bikeable Communities Act, authored by Senator Pia Cayetano, aims for a safe pathway network of bicycle lanes, walkways, and slow streets.

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With 21 affirmative votes, no abstentions and no negative votes, the measure hurdled the upper chamber.

“The Constitution mandates the State to protect and advance the right of the Filipino people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature, to protect and promote the right to health of the people and instill health consciousness among them,” the bill read.

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“The State recognizes the urgent need to safeguard the public’s health during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic by promoting physical distancing. Further, it acknowledges that the current transportation system compromises the safety of health workers, other essential workers, and commuters,” it continued.

The senator likewise noted that many Filipinos shifted to cycling after lockdowns, triggered by the pandemic, were imposed.

Cayetano, chair of the Senate committee on sustainable development goals, innovation and futures thinking, likewise stressed the environmental benefit of active transport.

“Prioritizing active transport will result in reduced carbon emissions, reduced road congestion, less use of energy and resources, as well as less dependence on oil, lightening the impact of oil price shocks. It will also provide multiple health benefits and enhance the quality of life,” the bill stated.

A survey from the Social Weather Stations showed that one in four Filipino families owns a bicycle.

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TAGS: bicycle lanes, Senate bill, Senate of the Philippines, walkways
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