MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is set to require local government units across the Philippines to establish bicycle lanes as the country shifts its transportation system while struggling to contain the novel coronavirus.
In a draft memorandum circular set to be signed by DILG Secretary Eduardo Año, LGUs are set to be required to establish their own “network” of cycling lanes with walking paths. The DILG is just waiting for final feedback from LGUs on its implementation.
“LGUs shall review all local roads within its areas of jurisdiction, including provincial, city/municipal, and barangay roads, and determine sections that may be developed into a continuous cycling lanes network with walking paths,” memorandum reads.
Some local government units like San Juan, Marikina, Mandaluyong, and Pasig have established their bike lanes, but a majority of LGUs across the country have not.
Why does this matter? With quarantine imposed over different regions in the country, transportation continues to be heavy regulated, forcing many to resort to cycling and walking.
One of the objectives set by the memorandum is “ensuring that cyclists, other mobility users, and pedestrians are not placed at risk due to motorized transport.”
If local officials fail to follow, the DILG will file cases against them, which may include accusations of negligence, dereliction of duty, and violation of the Bayanihan Act.
The DILG, however, will not immediately file complaints. In a text message to Rappler DILG Undersecretay Jonathan Malaya said their department recognized that building bicycle lanes “take effort”, so they will grant them a grace period.
How will it work? The DILG formulated a matrix given to local officials on how to establish bicycle lanes and walkways based on the size of its roads:
In addition, the DILG ordered LGUs to ensure that all intersections would be safe for vehicle and bicycle owners.
The DILG said LGUs could pass ordinances or other issuances to implement the shift in transportation. The DILG’s local offices would check whether they are complying with the memorandum 30 days after the memorandum is signed, and then will check every 3 months thereafter. – Rappler.com
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