Bong Go

Bong Go co-sponsors measure institutionalizing active transport

September 8, 2022 People's Journal 288 views

Through establishment of safe pathways

SENATOR Christopher “Bong” Go co-sponsored Senate Bill No. 1290, also known as the “Safe Pathways Act”, which seeks to establish networks of safe pathways of bicycle lanes, walkways and slow streets throughout the country. The measure was principally authored by Senator Pia Cayetano.

In a co-sponsorship speech during the Senate regular session on Wednesday, September 7, Go, who chairs the Senate Committee on Health, said that he has been a supporter of the use of bicycles as an active form of transportation in the country not only to minimize vehicular traffic but also to promote a healthy and environment-friendly mode of transportation.

“Sa panahon ngayon, kailangan na nating isipin paano makakatulong ang ating lifestyle sa ating kalusugan. Sa pamamagitan ng paggamit ng bisikleta, mabibigyan tayo ng pagkakataong makapag-exercise at syempre, makatulong sa ating kapaligiran,” the senator said.

Go added that he frequently urges Filipinos to commute by bicycle for these reasons. The senator has also been distributing bicycles during his visits to pandemic-affected residents and victims of fires and other natural disasters.

“Matagal ko na rin pong hinihikayat ang ating mga kababayan na gumamit nalang po ng bisikleta para sa kanilang pang-araw-araw na pag-commute. And, in fact, kapag pumupunta po ako sa mga nasusunugan, tinatanong ko sila, kung hirap po sila sa transportasyon. I encourage them to use bicycles,” said Go.

“Minsan din po namimigay po ako ng bisikleta sa kanila. Pinapaalalahanan ko na mag-ingat. Huwag po sa gitna, dahil maraming abusador na drayber,” he added.

As long as there are sufficient facilities and infrastructures to encourage Filipinos to ride them, Go believes that using bicycles as a mode of transportation could potentially be a solution to the rising cost of fuel.

“Sa ngayon, nagmamahal din ang pamasahe at ang presyo ng langis, kaya naman isa sa mga solusyon talaga ay ang paggamit ng bisikleta. Kailangan lang may sapat na pasilidad at imprastraktura para ma-engganyo natin ang ating mga kababayan,” said Go.

As for those who are already using bicycles for commute, the senator continues to remind them to follow traffic rules for their safety and to maintain order in the community.

“Pakiusap lang po sa mga nagbibisikleta: sumunod po tayo sa batas trapiko at sa mga patakaran para sa kaayusan na rin ng ating komunidad,” said Go.

In his speech, Go also congratulated and commended Sen. Pia Cayetano for consistently advocating and prioritizing the measure.

“Naaalala ko pa po, noong 2007 nagbisikleta po si Ma’am Pia sa Davao, patawid, papunta rin ng Samal. That was 15 years ago pa po. Talagang adbokasiya na niya ang pagbibisikleta,” noted Go.

Go then reiterated his backing of the measure and expressed his intent to be made a co-author.

“I give my full support for this bill which will mandate the establishment of necessary infrastructure for walking, biking, and other non-motorized vehicles, and encourage sustainable and healthy modes of active transport. I also want to make of record my intention to be made co-author of this measure,” concluded Go.

At the height of the pandemic, Go previously encouraged local government units to improve their biking infrastructure by designating more bicycle lanes with proper lane markings, road safety signs and lighting, and other safety measures. He cited Davao City as an example for LGUs that wish to provide alternative 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.

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