Iloilo City further cemented its status as a biking capital of the Philippines after it was hailed as the Gold Award winner at the 2021 Mobility Awards on Thursday, November 25.
Iloilo City bested 29 other cities for the national accolade, and 7 other cities for the Gold Award. Runner-ups Naga City and Mandaue City both got Silver Awards.
The announcement was made by Veronica Hitosis, Executive Director of the League of Cities of the Philippines.
As part of its prize, the city government will receive a Gold Bicycle-Friendly Recognition Sign, a certification designating the city’s ranking, and gift certificates from bicycle-friendly establishments worth P10,000 for the city’s team members.
In a recorded acceptance speech, Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas called the award a “great honor” for the city and its people.
“With our desire for a sustainable city, we provided an alternative mode of transportation that aims to lessen carbon footprints as our response to the rising impacts of climate change,” Treñas said.
Treñas touted the 11-kilometer bike lane network encompassing the districts of Mandurriao, Jaro, Molo, and the city proper, which includes the 4-kilometer protected bike lane along Benigno Aquino Avenue.
The current bike lane network would be extended to up to 32 kilometers in the future, said the mayor.
“I believe that bike lanes contribute more spaces on the roads, and an improved traffic flow because cyclists do not need to dodge cars in the road while maintaining safety in turning and avoiding fixed obstacles,” said the mayor.
Naga City got the Silver Award in Luzon, with Baguio City bagging the Bronze Award.
Other Luzon nominees included the cities of Vigan, Muñoz, Cavite, Dagupan, Bacoor, Antipolo, San Jose del Monte, San Fernando, Sta. Rosa, Lucena, Tagaytay, Batangas, and Puerto Princesa.
Visayas runners-up included Mandaue City for the Silver Award and Cebu City for the Bronze Award, with the cities of Masbate, Bacolod, Borongan, Tacloban, and Danao also being nominated.
Davao City and Gingoog City got the Silver and Bronze awards in Mindanao, respectively, with other nominee cities including Iligan, Cagayan De Oro, Cotabato, General Santos, and Surigao.
This is the first nationwide bout of the Mobility Awards, which was launched in 2020 for Metro Manila cities, with Pasig as its first Gold Awardee, and San Juan and Marikina as Silver Awardees.
According to the Mobility Awards website, the awards are a platform recognizing leadership by local governments, workplaces, and commercial establishments promoting cycling as a reliable, efficient and sustainable mode of transport among their constituencies, customers, employees, and communities.
The 2021 Mobility Awards was organized by the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, MNL Moves, The Climate Reality Project Philippines, 350.org Philippines, and the Pinay Bike Commuter Community.
A full list of winning cities and awarded establishments and cyclists is available here. –Rappler.com
Joseph B.A. Marzan is a Visayas-based journalist from Iloilo City and an awardee of the Aries Rufo Journalism Fellowship.