2022 Philippine Elections

Pacquiao commits support for active transport if elected

Aika Rey
Pacquiao commits support for active transport if elected

CAMPAIGN. Presidential bet Manny Pacquiao rides the Philippine National Railways train.

Team Pacquiao

(1st UPDATE) Senator Manny Pacquiao says he wants to push for a better integration of transport modes

DAGUPAN CITY, Philippines – Presidential candidate Manny Pacquiao said that he would support measures that promote active transport, which includes walking and biking, if elected.

In a media interview on Wednesday, March 2, Pacquiao was asked if he agreed with the stance of mobility advocates that improvements should be made to encourage active transport, as the presidential bet in previous fora used to say that he would be building more skyways as part of his solutions to fix Metro Manila traffic.

Pacquiao said that he was among the senators who supported the push for bike lanes, as well as the bill that would provide better infrastructure for pedestrians called the Safe Pathways bill.

Would Pacquiao support a higher budget for active transport then?

“Yes, pabor ako diyan para masolusyonan talaga ‘yung problema dito sa atin na matagal nang kino-complain sa atin,” Pacquiao said.

(Yes, I am in favor of that so we can help solve our problem in transportation which has long been brought to my attention.)

In a statement later sent to reporters, Pacquiao said that he is pushing for better integration of different transportation modes to “allow seamless mobility for all people in all walks of life.”

“By integrating all forms of transportation, the government will not only be able to solve the country’s traffic problem but it would also help reduce lifestyle diseases and reduce pollution,” the statement read.

Aside from skyways, Pacquiao said on Wednesday that he would push for public-private partnerships to expand the Philippines’ railway and subway systems. Pacquiao has already talked to Elon Musk’s SpaceX, and the boxing champ had mentioned that Musk’s Boring Company could help build subway systems in the Philippines.

Mobility groups have revived warnings about a transportation crisis in Metro Manila, amid the return to full operational capacity for businesses that threaten to stretch public transportation thin.

“We have raised the alarm of a crisis in mobility since 2018 but there has been a lack of urgency to fully act on recommendations that will allow our roads to serve the average commuter who takes public transportation, bikes, or walks,” said Ira Cruz of AltMobility PH on Tuesday, March 1, as Metro Manila was placed under Alert Level 1.

Move As One Coalition, meanwhile, pushed regulators to allow public utility vehicles to ply their previous routes, fully implement service contracting, ensure that trains are working, and guarantee proper ventilation in PUVs to prevent COVID-19 transmission.

Even before the pandemic, Metro Manila has already suffered from a lack of supply of commuter rides versus the demand. This led to long lines and overloaded public transportation in some routes, exacerbated by bumper-to-bumper traffic because of car-centric policies. – Rappler.com

Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at aika.rey@rappler.com.