Tagbilaran City employees biking to work receive new bicycles

Ten (10) new bicycles from Senator Pia Cayetano were given to City Government employees who bike their way to work. Helmets and bags with accessories were also given along with the new bicycles. Photo shows City Mayor John Geesnell “BABA” Yap with City Administrator Cathelyn Torremocha during the turn-over in the City Hall Atrium. Mayor Yap is thankful to the lady senator for the assistance, “The new normal is challenging and we are all in the adjustment phase. I believe it is just fitting to look for innovative ways to adapt to the challenges of the time. This pandemic reminds us to re-invent our way of life. We need to look for new avenues to protect our health and well-being. Our mode of transportation is one major area where we need a new frame of mind and these bicycles might just open new doors of innovation in Tagbilaran City”, said Yap.

Senator Pia Cayetano, a biking and fitness enthusiast, says biking and walking as a means of travel are bound to become an integral part of the ‘new normal’ to keep more people safe from COVID-19. The senator filed Senate Bill No. 1518 or the “Safe Pathways Act” to create a network of pop-up bicycle lanes and emergency pathways that would connect people to essential destinations during the pandemic, all while ensuring that physical distancing is maintained.

In a press release published in the Senate of the Philippines official website dated May 11, Sen. Cayetano said there is well-founded fear that the cramped buses, jeeps and trains are hot-spots for the spread of COVID-19. Thus, these “people-oriented and pedestrian-friendly” bike lanes and emergency pathways will help augment the limited forms of transportation and mobility allowed under the community quarantines, and may also be adopted in the long term to help decongest roads and reduce pollution in the country, “Walking, biking, and the use of other non-motorized vehicles reduce carbon emissions, use less energy and resources, and provide multiple health benefits that increase people’s quality of life. The “Safe Pathways Act” particularly promotes the use of these modes of transportation as the primary means of travel in the time of COVID-19”, Sen. Cayetano emphasized. The lady senator said that LGUs could provide the needed push to the bill LGUs by creating designated emergency pathways along local roads that will give pedestrians, cyclists, and other non-motorized vehicle users access to frequented destinations by restricting motorized vehicle passage during peak hours. Moreover, adequate parking spaces for bicycles and non-motorized vehicles shall be set up in all public places, government offices, schools, places of work, and commercial establishments, including malls, banks, and hospitals. The private sector is also encouraged to develop infrastructure and programs for the same purposes.