Cayetano, Mayor EdSa call support for ‘biking culture’

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Cycling advocates and public servants Senator Pia Cayetano and Mayor Edwin “EdSa” Santiago called on the public to support their advocacies in promoting cycling for health and safety purposes, especially now that the country is facing a pandemic.

Cayetano, on Friday, launched her program “Bike For Hope – Pilipinas in Action” in the City of San Fernando, where the senator awarded brand new bicycles and safety gear sets to 10 Fernandino frontline personnel.

The official turnover of the bicycles was held at The Forum at The Orchidarium in San Juan, this city. Mayor Edwin “EdSa” Santiago, Vice Mayor Jimmy Lazatin, and City Government department heads accompanied Cayetano in the event.

BICYCLE FOR FRONTLINERS. Ten Fernandino frontliners are granted brand new bicycles and safety gear sets from Senator Pia Cayetano’s Bike For Hope-Pilipinas in Action advocacy. The event was held on January 29, 2021 at San Juan, City of San Fernando.

The advocacy, Cayetano said, aims to ease the struggle of frontliners when going to work—walking or commuting—and to keep them safe and healthy.

“The advocacy aims to extend support to medical frontliners and essential workers leading various community programs to contain the COVID-19 pandemic across the country,” she said.

Included in the roster of beneficiaries from the city were barangay health workers, social workers, street sweepers, traffic enforcers, and utility and administrative staff.

In his message, Santiago stressed that the city has been adapting a “bike-friendly” culture for years now, citing that the program is very significant for Fernandinos.

“Noong ako po ay gumagawa pa ng mga ordinansa, mga ilang taon na ang nakalilipas, isa sa mga batas na binigyan nating prayoridad ay ang pagtatatag ng bicycle lanes sa Siyudad.

Ngayon po, we are creating more parks sa ating siyudad and we make sure na bawat isa po sa mga parkeng ito ay may bike lane,” Santiago said.

The City Mayor urged the public to support this legislation, through the use of the city’s existing bicycle lanes, adding that the City Government is also open to hear the public’s voices in the aspect of adding the number of bicycle lanes in the city and improving the existing ones.

Cayetano called on the public to support her latest legislation, Senate Bill No. 1582, or the Safe Pathways Bill, which is a huge gift for the biking community. The bill has hurdled second reading in the Senate.

“The passage of the bill is good news to the growing biking community all over the country, especially in Pampanga, which is a favorite destination for bikers, including myself, and a known training hub for Filipino athletes,” she noted.

Meanwhile, Darryl Manaloto, one of the beneficiaries who is also a traffic marshal of the City Government, said the new bike will cut his travel time going to his workplace.

“Malaking tulong po sa amin ang mga ibinigay na bisikleta, Dati na po akong gumagamit ng bisikleta papasok ng trabaho pero luma na siya. Ngayong may bago po, mas magiging safe at mabilis na po ang biyahe ko papunta sa trabaho. Kung dati po ay umaabot 15-20 minutes ang biyahe, ngayon tingnan natin baka maging 5-10 minutes na lang,” Manaloto said.

To date, Cayetano said, her group has already distributed at least 300 bicycles to different cities, municipalities, and provinces in the country.

In Pampanga, the Fernandinos became the second batch of beneficiaries, following the first roll out of the project at the Rafael Lazatin Memorial Medical Center or Ospital Ning Angeles in Angeles City.