5 March 2021 — MBC hosted a joint webinar with the Department of Health and Move As One Coalition to foster public-private cooperation in promoting active mobility in Metro Manila. This is an activity under MBC’s Business For Biking Program in partnership with the Embassy of the Netherlands.
National and local government representatives shared their current and future initiatives to develop a bike-friendly Metro Manila, aiming to encourage more private sector support in these initiatives.
Secretary Karl Chua of the National Economic and Development Authority discussed the role of active transportation in reopening the economy. Sec. Chua shared that active transport can help economic recovery. “Improving access to mobility while we learn to live with the virus is the key in achieving economic recovery,” added Sec. Chua.
Assistant Secretary Mark Steven Pastor of the Department of Transportation tackled developments on the National Bike Lane Network, which aims to create protected and interconnected bike lanes around Metro Manila. “The bike networks are planned to be connected, of course, in key and major public transport facilities, such as rail stations, our intermodal terminals, and bus stops. Particularly, further, our rail stations are already providing bike racks. So this will promote interconnectivity, not only of our alternative mode of transportation, but in the main pipeline of our transportation which are the rail system and road transportation,” said Asec. Pastor.
Dr. Beverly Ho, Director of the Health Promotions Bureau at the Department of Health, shared interagency government efforts to promote active transportation. These efforts include the Local Health System Health Promotion Playbook on Active Transport which seeks to support LGUs in terms of materials, information, and funding for cycling. “People will not be able to practice the healthy behaviors as long as the structures for which they are part of are not supportive of these healthy behaviors,” said Dr. Ho.
Anton Siy, Head of Pasig Transportation, Arch. Dennis Lacuna, Head of Manila Planning and Development, and Atty. Don Camino, Head of the Makati Public Safety Department, shared their city’s plans to support biking. Each city shared their current plans and specific challenges that they are facing in establishing bike infrastructure and services.
MBC and its program partners called for private sector representatives to pledge to become bike-friendly businesses, committing to support and contribute to efforts promoting active transportation.
The Business For Biking Program is a joint initiative with the Embassy of the Netherlands to promote biking as a sustainable solution to the lack of safe public transportation options for Filipino workers. This program aims to help develop bike-friendly policies and cycling infrastructure across Metro Manila in order to mobilize the workforce, boost business productivity, and advance socio-economic recovery.