Crossing party-lines, members of the majority and minority blocs in the Senate have expressed their support for the “Safe Pathways Act” (SBN 1582), the measure being pushed by Senator Pia S. Cayetano to establish a network of bicycle lanes throughout the country.
The bill’s supporters include Senator Francis Tolentino, who established bike lanes in Metro Manila during his stint as chairperson of the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA). The senator also recently filed Senate Resolution No. 411 urging appropriate government agencies to designate, develop, and improve bicycle lanes in the metropolis during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I am more than willing to sponsor this measure [SBN 1582]. I join the good sponsor in dreaming that in the next few weeks [or] days, [we will] have permanent bike lanes in Metro Manila,” Tolentino said following Cayetano’s sponsorship speech on World Bicycle Day (June 3).
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, meanwhile, described the bill as a “timely measure”, adding that he has a “personal attachment” to the proposal as his home city, Iloilo, had long established dedicated bicycle lanes, which he hopes to be a model nationwide.
Senator Ronald dela Rosa, for his part, said: “Like the Chair of the Sustainable Development Goals, Innovation, and Futures Thinking (Cayetano), I am also a cycling enthusiast. I am happy that we are giving priority to our bicycle riders by giving them lanes. This is why I strongly support this bill and I hope we pass this.”
Senator Richard Gordon also thanked Cayetano for leading the initiative towards promoting bicycles and other modes of sustainable transportation. He said this could be an opportunity for the country to boost its own bicycle industry and in turn create more jobs for Filipinos.
“I join the lovely sponsor in support of this lovely bill that will make us lovely people,” Gordon stated.
Another member of the minority bloc, Senator Risa Hontiveros, likewise backed SBN 1582: “I would like to express my support to this bill authored and sponsored by Senator Pia, and join [her] as well in this realizable hope that this act establishing pop-up bike lanes and emergency pathways will help evolve the infrastructure for these bicycle lanes becoming a permanent feature of our urban centers and cities.”
In addition, Senators Grace Poe, Ralph Recto, Bong Revilla, Manny Pacquiao, Sonny Angara, and Joel Villanueva, have expressed their intent to be co-sponsors and/or co-authors of the bill.#