World Car-Free Day: More inclusive, accessible, safer roads

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has been pushing for the use of bicycles as a relevant, inclusive, and legitimate mode of transportation, especially in light of COVID-19 pandemic protocols and with the resumption of face-to-face classes.

In support of the worldwide celebration of World Car-Free Day on Sept. 22, the DOTr, together with various Government agencies such as Department of Education, Department of Health, Department of Public Works and Highways, and the Local Government of Pasig, as well as its partners in civil society groups such as the Move as One Coalition, and other private sector transport groups, collectively reiterated the push for Active Transportation.

As part of this year’s commemoration, a series of activities was conducted, including the distribution of free bicycle and helmet to selected students and teachers of Rizal High School in Pasig City. A total of 30 bicycles with helmets were awarded to 20 students and 10 teachers of the said school. There were also bike lessons and bike repairs and maintenance conducted at the DepEd Central Office. 

“We, the Interagency Technical Working Group on Active Transport, together with the DepEd, Pasig Transport, and our partners in civil society and the private sector, affirm the continued relevance of active transport in advancing inclusive, people-oriented, and environmentally sustainable mobility that prioritizes public health and well-being of Filipinos,” DOTr Undersecretary for Road Transport and Infrastructure Mark Steven Pastor said for the joint statement of ITWG on Active Transport.

He also reiterated the role of active transport infrastructure in protecting our learners and school personnel going to and from their schools, and the benefits of this mode of mobility towards healthier minds and bodies of Filipino learners. 

“Promoting and enabling environment for active transport will lead to streets for all users, especially children who are the most vulnerable of these road users. It is for these reasons and many more that we must continue to make our streets safer, more equitable and more accessible for Filipino learners everywhere.”

“We affirm our Departments’ and organizations’ commitment to design streets that support, not hinder, access to education. We enjoin everyone to work with us on this mission to build streets for children, not cars, not just on September 22 but everyday. Para sa Healthy eskuwelahan at para sa healthy Pilipinas!”, Usec. Pastor said. 

As what DOTr Secretary Jaime J. Bautista always say, we must provide “accessible, affordable, comfortable, and safe travel”. 

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