October 29, 2014 Comments Blog Posts

First National Bicycle Day in the Philippines

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.

national bicycle day nov23

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.

Malacanan Palace
Manila

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

by the President
Benigno-Aquino biking

Executive Order grabbed from: http://www.nationalbicycle.org.ph/
photo courtesy of http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/

Comments

  1. Rey Bendecio says:

    pls. keep me posted about this.

    Rgsd,
    Rey

    1. giussef says:

      OK Rey. Will post updates on the parade. Thanks for the support!

  2. Berto says:

    As a cyclist, here are my wish list:

    1. Arrest and detention of vehicle owners/drivers who pour thick black smoke in the air from their engines.
    2. Towing and removal of road obstructions, including penalizing and fine of owners of these road obstructions.
    3. Disqualification and cancellation of contracts of road contractors whose road projects failed the smoothness test.

  3. Syke says:

    here’s the thing, if we really want other motorist to feel the bikers’ presence in the streets, masyadong garapalan naman para sa kanila if during mass rides, we stop them so we all can pass. mas naiinis sila sa mga bikers kapag ganun. ayoko namang mangyari sa akin yun. what if i bike alone? kung wala ba akong kasamang mag-bike, hindi na langako magba-bike? may pinaglalaban ako tulad ninyo, at tulad nating lahat.

    hindi ba naiisip ng mga organizers ng mass ride ang normal na pagba-bike lang sa kalsada kahit mass rides? kapag inabutan ng stop, tigil ang bikers, hayaang mag-go ang mga sasakyan. hindi na dapat pinipigil ng ride leader o marshalls ang mga motorista. ipaparamdam natin sa kanila normally.

    we ask them to share the road with us. but what we do? we own the road when we have mass rides.

    what about the newbies? mag-bike muna sila nang mag-bike somewhere safe for them hanggang sa kakayanin na nilang lumabas sa magulong kalsada. in that way, ma-minimize ang injuries at casualties duriing mass rides.

    we all aim that na maging safe ang mga kalsada when we bike. we aim na maging aware ang mga motorista sa atin nang sa ganun, nakikita nila ang biker kahit nag-iisa.

    kaya sana sa susunod na mass ride, na alam kung mas dadami pa ang sasama, i don;t think we need to close down roads for us to pass. hindi naman tayo marathon. wala rin naman sigurong magmamarathon to work kaya walang agenda ang runners na magparamdam sa ibang motorista,

    since we aim to share the road to motorist, let them feel na ka-share nga natin sila at hindi tayo nagiging burden sa kanila during mass rides.

    hindi lag ito suntok sa buwan kundi sampal sa araw.

    mabuhay kayong lahat!

    1. giussef says:

      My friends always say when there are mass rides like this:
      Ride for a Cause!
      Cause of Traffic!

  4. jrdgr8 says:

    Kasama po ako sa south route ng 1st National Bicycle Day at nakita ko kung gaano kadami ang sumama at sa palagay ko ay hindi mo maaring pahintuin ang ganong kadami ng bikers kapag naka stop ang traffic lights sa kadahilanang:

    *magkakawatak watak ang grupo at mas magigiging magulo

    *hindi ito katulad ng mga sasakyan na may mga signal lights,kapag bigla nyong pinahinto ang ganong kadami ng namimisikleta ay malamang na magkabunguan at magsemplangan ang mga ito

    *ito ay isang national event at hindi basta bastang mass ride lang kung kaya nga ang pangulo natin ay nag deklara at nagbigay ng ganitong kautusan sa mga motorista

    “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“