CALOOCAN CITY, July 11 (PIA) -- Senator Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go has appealed to local authorities to install more bike lanes to encourage more Filipinos to use bicycles given the current limited transportation options amid quarantine measures.
In a statement, Go acknowledged that "despite the gradual relaxation of quarantine measures, public transportation remains a challenge for many Filipinos in many areas in the country due to social distancing measures."
He then asked local government units, in coordination with concerned government agencies, to designate more bicycle lanes with proper lane markings, road safety signs and lighting, among other safety measures, when feasible.
"This is both to encourage more people to use bicycles as an active mode of transportation and to ensure their safety, particularly those plying busy streets in big cities," Go said.
The Senator also encouraged the public to consider the use of bicycles as an active mode of transportation.
"Basta siguraduhin po dapat na ligtas ito para sa mga nagbibisikleta at pati rin sa ibang nasa kalsada," Go advised, particularly after some sectors called for the installation of sufficient lighting along bicycle lanes.
"Siguraduhin rin lang po natin na physically fit rin tayo kung magbibisikleta kayo para makaiwas sa disgrasya," he added.
Go also reminded the public to comply with traffic guidelines when using bicycles.
"At dapat palaging sinusunod ang lahat ng batas trapiko, kasama na ang pagsuot ng helmet, hindi lang para sa inyong kaligtasan kundi para na rin sa ibang gumagamit ng ating mga kalsada," he said.
Go cited Davao City as an example for LGUs that wish to install their bike lanes to provide transportation options to their constituents.
"Very recently, Davao City has already started demarcating bicycle lanes along its major thoroughfares. This is in recognition of the need to promote safe alternative modes of transportation while ensuring the safety of the public," said Go.
"We encourage other LGUs to follow suit soon," he added.
Whilst he is amenable to the use of bicycles as an active form of transportation, Go emphasized that the safety of Filipinos should be guaranteed and prioritized when proposing policies that help the country cope with the current pandemic.
"Kagaya ng sinabi ko noon, lalong lalo na habang nasa gitna pa tayo ng pandemyang ito, palaging isaalang-alang at unahin ang buhay, kaligtasan, at kapakanan ng bawat Pilipino pagdating sa mga polisiya at patakaran na ating ipinapatupad," he said.
Earlier, Go appealed to the Metro Manila Development Authority to ensure the safety of individuals who are traveling using their bicycles. The designation of bike lanes in Metro Manila is a joint project of MMDA and Department of Transportation.
"Siguraduhin po natin sa MMDA na safe po ang pagdadaanan (ng mga nagbibisikleta), talagang secured ang bicycle lanes na ibibigay ninyo. At siguraduhin ninyo na rin po na ang mga nagba-bike are physically fit," he said.
The Senator also encouraged the public to consider the use of bicycles as an active mode of non- motorized transport which is environmentally friendly as these are zero-emission modes with health benefits to bikers.
Meanwhile, Go has also earlier expressed his openness to suggestions of allowing motorcycle backriding, subject to strict adherence to health protocols, given the limited transportation options for Filipinos.
"Malaking tulong sa ating mga kababayan na papayagan ang 'backriding' sa motorsiklo lalo na dahil limitado pa ang public transportation. Huwag lang po natin madaliin. Siguraduhin dapat na magagawa ito sa ligtas na paraan," said Go.
"Pag-aralan dapat ng mabuti, konsultahin ang mga eksperto, at alalahanin natin palagi 'yung health protocols na dapat sundin," he added.
Proposed guidelines on motorcycle backriding specifically allowing family members have been submitted by the Technical Working Group to the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases and will also be reviewed further by the National Task Force COVID-19 with its own recommendations.