Taguig City plans to further expand the Lakeshore Complex in Bicutan to provide its people “safe and clean areas for family events and wellness activities.”
Mayor Laarni Cayetano on Monday signed an agreement with officials of various government agencies led by Department of Health (DOH) on the creation, use, management, and promotion of healthy parks and public open spaces in the city.
Cayetano said her administration supports the program, adding that every city must have open spaces where the public can visit for physical activity to help them reduce any feelings of loneliness and isolation, and put them in touch with other people.
The mayor said apart from the expansion of the Lakeshore that allows for activities such as zumba exercise and cycling, the local government will also allocate funds for every barangay that
has vacant land for possible conversion into a park. The signing ceremony was also attended by officials of the Department of Health (DOH), the Department of Public Works and Highways, the Department of the Interior and Local Government, the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources, as well as the Philippine Commission on Women. Present were DOH regional director Loreta Malaluan, DILG Assistant Secretary Rolando Puno, DENR Assistant Secretary Marcial Amaro Jr., and Philippine Commission on Women executive director Kristine Rosary Yuzon-Chaves.
Assistant Secretaries Dr. Beverly Lorraine Ho and Infrastructure Development Dr. Gloria Balboa represented the DOH.
Officials from the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development, and National Commission for Culture and the Arts also attended the event.
A joint administrative order outlined the promotion of safe and sustainable open spaces as these can positively affect physical activity and social and mental well-being, improve air quality or help
absorb the effects of climate change, reduce exposure to noise, and potentially reduce public health inequalities.
Health officials explained that outdoor spaces have been proven to be preferable than indoor spaces for preventing the spread of COVID-19. They added the pandemic has emphasized all this need for accessible parks and open spaces.
“Like any worthwhile task, creating a healthy Philippines is not completed by a single step nor by one sector alone. But, through concerted efforts of different partners in health, from national agencies, to local government units, and advocacy partners, the DOH is, confident that this goal is achievable,” Ho said. Joel E. Zurbano