Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy Cimatu is hoping that the use of bicycles as public transportation will continue even after the coronavirus pandemic is over, citing its potential to mitigate the impact of climate change.
“With COVID-19, we have rediscovered the benefits of cycling and walking –
saving money, getting fit, and helping to reduce pollution and mitigate climate change. We can choose to keep this momentum,” Cimatu said in a statement Sunday.
President Duterte issued on Nov. 18 Proclamation No. 1052 declaring the fourth Sunday of November of every year as National Bicycle Day to promote bicycle as a sustainable and environment-friendly mode of transportation.
With the declaration, Cimatu said Filipinos can be assured of “better air quality and a healthier environment.”
According to the DENR chief, bike riding could play an important role in combating climate change as it could reduce carbon emissions.
“If no changes are made on the climate front, the global average temperature will exceed the two degrees centigrade temperature limit set by the Paris Agreement by 2030,” Cimatu said.
“A 20 percent increase in cycling worldwide could cut carbon dioxide emissions from urban passenger transport by nearly 11 percent in 2050,” he added.
To encourage more people to use bicycle in Metro Manila, the government will construct a 600-kilometer interconnected, protected bike lanes and racks, and bicycle-sharing systems.
This project will be funded by a P1.3-billion allocation in Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or the Bayanihan 2 Act.
“Every kilometer of bike ride helps reduce road congestion and air pollution, and improves riders’ health,” Cimatu said.