Manila topped the votes but Pasig emerged as the most bike-friendly city

October 30, 2020 - 11:16 AM
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People who participated in the "Book Bike Barter Tour" are encouraged to use bicycles from ofo Bike Share in cooperation with Intramuros Administration. (Facebook/Philippine Star)

Pasig, San Juan and Marikina, as well as shopping centers in Pasay, Marikina and Taguig were hailed as the most bike-friendly places in Metro Manila, according to organizers of the first Mobility Awards.

Mobility Awards Philippines aims to recognize the efforts of the national government and private establishments to create safe routes for cyclists in the region.

It was organized by the environmental groups and cycling advocates the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, MNL Moves, the Climate Reality Project Philippines, and 350 Pilipinas and launched last month.

At the event streamed on Facebook on Thursday, October 29, the main awards for the most bike-friendly cities, establishments and workplaces are:

Most Bike-Friendly Cities

  • Pasig (Gold)
  • San Juan (Gold)
  • Marikina (Silver)

Most Bike-Friendly Commercial Establishments

  • SM Mall of Asia in Pasay (Gold)
  • SM Marikina in Marikina (Gold)
  • Bonifacio High Street in Taguig (Silver)

Most Bike-Friendly Workplaces

  • Pasig Transport (Gold)
  • Government Service Insurance System in Pasay City (Gold)
  • The Medical City in Ortigas Center (Gold)

Interestingly, the city, workplace and establishments with the most number of votes rendered different results:

  • City: City of Manila
  • Workplace: Government Service Insurance System in Pasay City
  • Establishment: SM Mall of Asia

San Juan Mayor Francis Zamora expressed his gratitude for the recognition the city received.

“I’m very honored that San Juan has been chosen for this, and it gives me a lot of added inspiration to continue making San Juan bike-friendly,” Zamora said.

“I also bike every day. It’s part of my daily routine to join the police bike patrols, to go around the city, because you see your city in a new perspective when you ride a bike. It helps me see the needs of our constituents,” Mayor Zamora added.

Meanwhile, Robert Anthony Siy, head of the Pasig Transport Office, who accepted two gold prizes, said he hoped the initiatives of Pasig would inspire other cities to become sustainable and inclusive as well.

“This is just the beginning for Pasig. Through this, we hope to inspire and collaborate with others to build more sustainable and inclusive cities,” Siy said.

In a series of infographics on October 28, Mobility Awards also posted the rest of the institutions that were nominated across Metro Manila.

Outstanding riders

The event also awarded outstanding cyclists from prominent logistics companies Grab Philippines, Foodpanda Philippines, Gofer and Padyak Padala Philippines.

The winners for the Padyak! Power to the People Awards for outstanding riders are:

  • Joy Habana, GrabFood
  • Maria Gepayo, Foodpanda
  • Sebastian Cantero, Padyak Padala

Justine Ruth Bitancor, Community and Communication Executive of Foodpanda Philippines, said that the company considers its riders as heroes for risking their lives during the onslaught of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“All of our Foodpanda riders, and even those of all the companies here in the panel now, they are our heroes. Not just because they are now our frontliners amid the pandemic but because they are risking their lives for us to serve food on our tables and serve their communities. And as they said they’re doing this not just for the money but to serve their fellow Filipinos,” Bitancor said.

Meanwhile, Rachelle Tan, strategy and planning assistant manager for GrabFood at Grab Philippines, said that the provider hoped to increase their fleet, particularly for female riders, in the future.

“Roughly 15% of all our delivery partners are female and we hope to increase that in the future,” Tan said.

According to the organizers, only 12% of the population has a car and the rest of the 88% do now own cars.

They hoped that these accolades would encourage the Philippine government to improve the metro’s public transport instead of prioritizing private-car owners.

“The 88% should be the priority, not the 12% who have at least one car. Local leaders with the private sector should promote active mobility, or walking and cycling, and improve public transport for the majority,” they said.