CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, PAMPANGA — Senator Pia S. Cayetano on Friday led the distribution of new bicycles for the use of the city’s frontline community workers.
Cayetano, together with CSFP Mayor Edwin Santiago, turned over ten bicycles and safety gear sets in simple ceremonies held in the city.
The recipients included traffic enforcers, street sweepers, barangay health and social workers, and utility staff.
“Our beneficiaries help the city every day, and we don’t want them to be exposed [to COVID-19] kapag sumakay pa sila ng sasakyan. Makatutulong din ito para makatipid sila ng kaunti kasi may sarili na silang bike,” Cayetano said.
The bike distribution is part of Pilipinas in Action, a movement initiated by the senator to extend support to medical frontliners and essential workers leading various community programs to contain the COVID-19 pandemic across the country.
Cayetano, a biker herself, and the principal author and sponsor of the Safe Pathways Bill (Senate Bill No. 1582) acknowledged Mayor Santiago’s initiatives to promote cycling as a healthy, sustainable, and safe mode of transportation among Fernandinos.
“I consider this visit a homecoming, because it was right here in the city of San Fernando that I started my campaign to return to the Senate two years ago, and Mayor Santiago was also there to express his support,” the senator shared.
Cayetano was referring to the first day of the national electoral campaign on February 12, 2019, where she biked from Brgy. San Agustin going to the Pampanga capitol grounds for a campaign rally, using the bike lane along the stretch of Lazatin Avenue.
The senator was then joined by a local bikers group, as well as athletes training under national triathlon coach Melvin Fausto, who hails from Angeles City.
Cayetano also thanked Microgenesis Software, Inc., which donated the 10 bicycle sets through Pilipinas in Action, as she underlined the importance of various sectors coming together in a whole-of-society approach to overcome the threat of COVID-19.
She noted that Mayor Santiago’s initiative to make San Fernando City more bicycle-friendly is in line with the objectives of SBN 1582, which the Senate passed on second reading last Monday (January 25).
Under SBN 1582, a Safe Pathways Network shall be established throughout the country, consisting of bicycle lanes and ‘slow streets’ along local roads that will provide pedestrians, cyclists, and users of non-motorized mobility devices.
Cayetano said that the proposed measure would promote a healthy lifestyle among Filipinos and benefit the environment due to reduced carbon emissions and less use of energy and resources.
“The passage of the bill is good news to the growing biking community all over the country, especially in Pampanga, which is a favorite destination for bikers, including myself, and a known training hub for Filipino athletes,” she concluded.
Chair of the Senate Committee on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Innovation, and Futures Thinking, Cayetano noted that the bill’s objectives are also in line with the country’s commitments to the SDGs, in particular: SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-Being); SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy); SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure); SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities); SDG 13 (Climate Action); and SDG 17 (Partnerships for the Goals). #