DOF wants pedestrian-friendly cities

The Department of Finance (DOF) said that local government units (LGUs) should perform in transforming the country’s most congested cities into walkable, pedestrian-friendly communities.

In a statement, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III has underscored the key role of LGUs in creating green, safe and comfortable public spaces in their respective localities. 

He then lauded the core convenors of the Green EDSA Movement for setting the example for LGUs and other sectors by spearheading the “green” makeover of EDSA, which was launched on Thursday, April 22, to coincide with the global celebration of Earth Day. 

“I wish this Movement success in this brave effort to make EDSA a greener and therefore a kinder place for our people. May this be a shining example of an empowered people’s initiative to build a sustainable and healthier future for our country,” Dominguez said.

Alongside the greening of EDSA is an Asian Development Bank (ADB) supported project to help build safe and disaster-resilient elevated walkways for pedestrians along this thoroughfare, Dominguez said. 

“This is an auspicious start to convert our congested urban centers into walkable, pedestrian-safe cities. It will complement our efforts to fight climate change by encouraging people to use their cars less, thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” he said. 

Dominguez noted that weak governance, which resulted in the private appropriation of public spaces, including the sidewalks, has left Metro Manila seriously starved for green spaces and pedestrian unfriendly. 

The Green EDSA Movement can do more if it expands its reach and its civic initiative is replicated in other parts of the country, Dominguez said. 

“We can, for instance, help buy back land to create green spaces for our urban dwellers. The local governments of our most congested cities have a key role to play here,” he said. 

As chairperson-designate of the Climate Change Commission (CCC), Dominguez said he will work hard to pursue state policies that are not just sustainable but regenerative as well.

Dominguez cited, for instance, his strong support for new legislation that will ban single-use plastics as a major step to encourage every Filipino to do his or her part on a daily basis in helping save the world’s environment. 

“We hope that you can help us push forward this important bill in Congress,” he told those present at the launching of the Green EDSA Movement. 

The Philippines submitted on April 15 its first National Determined Contribution (NDC) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as part of its commitment to the Paris Agreement.  

The NDC sets a 75-percent greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction and avoidance by 2030, or higher than the 70-percent conditional GHG targeted cut submitted in 2015.   Of the 75-percent target, 72.29 percent is “conditional” or contingent upon the support of climate finance, technologies and capacity development, which shall be provided by developed countries, as prescribed by the Paris Agreement on climate change.