In a bid to overhaul the country’s public transportation system for the eventual “new normal,” a senator on Wednesday has endorsed to the Department of Transportation the proposal of the Move as One Coalition to invest greatly in improving public transport modes and promoting active transport modes such as cycling and walking.
“We thank Senator Grace Poe for supporting our advocacy to significantly improve urban mobility in the country by endorsing our proposal. We look forward to closely collaborating with Senator Poe and the DOTr to create a future where the mobility of people is prioritized over the mobility of private vehicles, and active transport modes are at the forefront,” said Jedd Ugay, spokesperson of #MoveAsOne Coalition and Chief Mobility Officer of AltMobility PH.
Senator Grace Poe is chairperson of the Senate committee on public services.
Move as One, a broad coalition of 133 organizations and more than 10,000 individuals, has proposed a three-stage support package worth P110 billion to avoid massive potential losses in employment and mobility in the country resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Willie Casas
First, the coalition proposed to invest around P10 billion to construct active transport infrastructure such as wider sidewalks, dedicated bike lanes, urban shade trees, and safe, walkable streets.
“This will help establish up to 1,600 kilometers of walking and cycling infrastructure to allow the greater movement of people.
Furthermore, the fund gives the government the opportunity to procure up to 100,000 bikes and 5,000 bike racks for bicycle-sharing programs,” Ugay explained.
The coalition noted that both the DOTr and the Interagency Task Force have recommended the use of “non-motorized transport” and personal mobility devices to maintain physical distancing and more efficiently use road space.
Meanwhile, the coalition called for the service contracting of public utility vehicles to prevent the expected income losses due to health and physical distancing measures.
“We propose to invest P30 billion to contract out thousands of PUVs nationwide. This will protect the jobs of our 2.7 million land transport workers in the country by providing them a stable source of income independent of the number of passengers they have,” said Ernesto Cruz of the National Confederation of Transportworkers’ Union - Sentro - International Transport Workers’ Federation, a member of the #MoveAsOne Coalition.
Move as One added that this investment will also protect the jobs of 88 percent of households who do not have cars and depend on public transport to go to work, and ensure the safety of 20 million students all over the country who use public transport to go to school.
The third and final part of Move as One’s support package is to invest P 70 billion over the next three years to build PUV stops, PUV-only lanes, depots, and terminals nationwide to incentivize people to choose active and public transport instead of private vehicles.
“We have faith that the government will see its crucial role in bringing better mobility to millions of Filipinos. The Move as One Coalition stands ready to support the government’s efforts to prioritize commuters, pedestrians, and cyclists and to champion the welfare of the majority who do not own private motor vehicles,” the Coalition said in a statement.