Hats off to the organizers of the first ever National Bicycle Day in the Philippines. Slow clap to the movers in promoting the cause and making people realize the importance of the simple two wheeled machine.
Bikers know the importance of cycling and all that, but this parade, supported by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, together with the Environment Management Bureau and the National Bicycle Organization got President Aquino to sign an Executive order declaring the fourth week of November National Bicycle Day for the Philippines! How awesome is that?
Very, very cool.
OK, so on with the parade, on with the costume, the logistics, the fun ride, but I really wish there is more to that Executive order. Here is my simple wish list to sustain the Biker friendly Philippines:
1. More bicycle lanes. Connect all the major cities around the Metro, please?
2. Install bike racks/ parking posts to chain bikes on.
3. Work areas to provide shower rooms for bike commuters.
4. Local Government bicycle give-away. Let us reward deserving kids a bicycle of their own.
5. Bike clinics for those who don’t know how to ride a bike. Plus bike maintenance.
6. Bike awareness programs, through social media.
In the Executive order, there are answers to the wishlist, but how fast can we see these solutions? Only time can tell.
By the President of the Philippines
Proclamation No ____
Declaring November as National Bicycle Month and Every 4th Sunday of November Each Year as “National Bicycle Day”
Whereas, pursuant to provisions of Republic Act (RA) 8749 or the Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999, its Implementing Rules and Regulations under Rule IV Sec 1, item C, “Focus primarily on pollution prevention rather than on control and provide for a comprehensive management program for air pollution, such as the promotion of non-motorized transport, emphasis on public transport and travel demand measures”
Whereas, pursuant to provisions of Administrative Order (AO) 254 dated January 30, 2009, mandating the Department of Transportation and Communications to lead in formulating a national, environmentally sustainable transport (EST) for the Philippines
Whereas, pursuant to Section 9a of Executive Order (EO) 774 dated December 26, 2008 which states “To reduce the consumption of fossil fuels, the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) shall lead a task group to reform the transportation sector. The new paradigm in the movement of men and things must follow a simple principle: “Those who have less in wheels must have more in road.” For this purpose, the system shall favor non-motorized locomotion and collective transportation system (walking, bicycling, and the man-powered mini-train)
Whereas, pursuant to Section 9g of Executive Order 9( EO) 774, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) shall coordinate with local government units and guide them on the plan to transform the locomotion and transportation system to favor parties who have no motorized vehicles
Whereas, as it is the policy of the State to protect the welfare of ALL road users in particular pedestrians, people with disabilities (PWD) and bicyclists, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) shall immediately transform roads and walkways, integrating into the planning, the design, operation and maintenance of the country’s transportation system the needs and safety of the vulnerable road users which includes PWD , pedestrians and bicyclists
Whereas, pursuant to Proclamation 1109 issued in 1997 November was declared as ‘National Clean Air Month’ while Republic Act 9512 or the National Environmental Awareness and Education Act of 2008, declared the same month as ‘National Environmental Awareness Month’
Whereas, the Philippine National Environmentally Sustainable Transport Strategy states that “the realization of walkable and cycling friendly cities is an overall vision for non-motorized transport” and that priority strategies for non-motorized transport promotion are to “develop policies and guidelines for pedestrian- and cycling-inclusive land use planning” and “provide non-motorized transport (NMT) facilities”
Whereas Metro Manila and other developing cities nationwide continue to be plagued with increasing air pollution and respiratory related health problems caused by the presence and toxic emissions of motorized vehicles
Whereas, fuel emissions from these motorized vehicles are toxic and harmful to the health of people
Whereas, greenhouse gas emissions from motorized vehicles is a global issue that contributes to the drastic problems of climate change
Whereas, the traffic situation in Metro Manila and other developing cities nationwide continues to be a problem causing the economy to lose millions of pesos
Whereas, the bicycle as a personal means of transportation is one of the solutions to the environmental, economic and health problems we are challenged with today
Whereas, the bicycle is an environmentally sustainable means of transportation because it is not dependent on fossil fuels and it produces no carbon emissions
Whereas, the bicycle promotes clean air and a healthy lifestyle
Now therefore, I, Benigno C. Aquino, President of the Republic of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by law, do hereby declare November as National Bicycle Month and the 4th Sunday of November and every fourth Sunday of November thereafter as “National Bicycle Day”. I also do hereby order that :
– motorists should give way to cyclists
– all agencies, especially those identified in RA 8749, AO 254, and EO 774 to support and participate in National Bicycle Day
– all local government units (LGUs) to celebrate and participate in National Bicycle Month and National Bicycle Day
– all agencies, especially those identified in RA 8749, AO 254, and EO 774 to create and execute programs that would transform our cities into bicycle friendly cities. Such as promote biking to work and give incentives to employees who bike to work; allot a certain portion of parking space in business establishments, schools and offices for bicycles and other non-motorized transport modes; allot shower facilities in government offices and schools for the cyclists
– all LGUs to create and execute programs that would transform our cities into bicycle friendly cities. Such as provide bicycle loans, promote biking to work and give incentives to employees who bike to work.
– the Department of Health to create and execute a nationwide campaign promoting the health benefits of bicycle commuting
– the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to immediately amend the driving examination to mandatorily educate would be drivers about proper driving behavior and attitude towards vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, PWD and cyclists
– the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to convene agencies and LGUs to support and participate in National Bicycle Day as well as convene efforts to create and execute programs that would transform our cities and municipalities into bicycle friendly cities and municipalities
– the Department of Education (DepEd) to continue its curriculum initiatives on road safety with emphasis on the benefits of cycling, safety on cycling, basic bicycle maintenance as a main component of the lessons
– that the cycling community, represented by the National Bicycle Organization, be consulted with regard to any plans to support National Bicycle Day, as well as in the creation and execution of programs that would transform our cities into bicycle friendly cities
– that the DOTC, DPWH, MMDA, DILG and LGUs plan and construct an interconnecting bicycle lane network to link cities, municipalities, funding of which will come from the DOTC Special Vehicle Pollution Control Fund and other financing mechanisms for the planning and implementation of nationwide awareness programs that will promote, encourage and empower the people to pursue a sustainable and low carbon emission transport system and healthy lifestyle through bicycling
The Secretary of the DENR shall call upon the Heads of the other Departments, including but not limited to, the DPWH, DOTC, MMDA, DILG, DOH, and DepEd to form a National Bicycle Month and National Bicycle Day Committee, which it shall chair.
The Committee shall prepare a program for the meaningful celebration of the “National Bicycle Month and National Bicycle Day”, and it may also call upon other government agencies, the National Bicycle Organization and other non-government organizations to assist in its preparation and implementation.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the Republic of the Philippines to be affixed.
DONE, in the City of Manila, this 22nd day of September in the year of Our Lord, Two Thousand and Fourteen.
BENIGNO C.AQUINO III
Executive Order grabbed from: http://www.nationalbicycle.org.ph/
photo courtesy of http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/