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Iloilo, Mandaue, Naga Named Most Bike-Friendly Cities In The Philippines

Iloilo, Mandaue, Naga Named Most Bike-Friendly Cities In The Philippines
Photo from Iloilo City government’s Facebook page shows one of the bike lanes in the area.

The cities of Iloilo, Mandaue, and Naga were hailed as the most bike-friendly in the Philippines in the nationwide leg of the Mobility Awards 2021.

This year’s Mobility Awards focused on recognizing acts of leadership promoting cycling and active modes of transportation in cities outside of Metro Manila. The categories for the 2021 national awards are city governments, workplaces, and commercial establishments.

The assessment was based on the prevalence and quality of bike-friendly infrastructure, integration of inclusive mobility policies, and progress of infrastructure initiatives and enforcement of bicycle-friendly policies.

  • Iloilo City (Gold)

Having been chosen as the Gold awardee, Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas said during the virtual ceremony on Thursday, Nov. 25, that it is a great honor for the area and its people to receive such recognition.

According to Treñas, the city “provided a healthier alternative mode of transportation” for its people “to lessen carbon footprint” as response to the rising impacts of climate change.

To keep bikers and commuters safe, Iloilo City developed an 11-kilometer bike lane that stretches out from the diversion road to some select areas in the city. It includes a four-kilometer protected bike lane for safety, marked by lines and plant boxes.

He also disclosed that the local government is planning to interconnect these bike lanes all over the urban center for easier transport and mobility, expanding it to a total of 32 kilometers.

“I believe that bike lanes contribute more spaces on the road and an improved traffic flow because cyclists do not need to dodge cars in the roadway, maintaining safety in turning and avoiding fix obstacles,” the mayor emphasized in a recorded message.

Treñas said bike lanes “create the feeling of safety for many people who would like to bike” and it also offers bikers “the needed benefit of exercise.”

“We look forward to having more safe open spaces for the Ilonggos,” Treñas added.

  • Mandaue City (Silver)

For Mandaue Mayor Jonas Cortes, the Silver Award for their local government is a validation of their efforts and motivation to continue their vision to be a sustainable and resilient city.

“It has been the advocacy of the City of Mandaue to become a sustainable city and the dream of establishing a bike network has been a long-time dream,” Cortes said in his recorded speech.

Cortes noted that establishing a bike network is one of the key strategic initiatives of Mandaue City. “This was something we decided early on as one of the ways for us to lower our carbon emissions.”

With the protected bike lanes in place, Cortes said the city installed different bike infrastructures, like bike routes and bike repair stations in strategic locations across the city.

The city also partnered with different agencies to link its bike network with the neighboring local government units in Metro Cebu, according to the mayor.

He admitted that it was hard for them to build a bike network in the city during the pre-pandemic as they have had several attempts to do so but "there was a resistance.”

When the pandemic happened, the mayor said this gave them an opportunity to reintroduce the bike network. “Cars were no longer allowed, and bicycles became the more practical way of moving about.”

“Not only that, it was a way for Mandauehanos, to get some bit of exercise, instead of just being stuck at home,” he added.

Naga City (Silver)

Naga City Mayor Nelson Legacion, for his part, said the recognition is “very timely” as they promote cycling in the area as a viable means of transport and exercise in this time of pandemic.

Legacion pointed out that cycling must be endorsed as a primary alternative for cars and motorcycles as it could “stimulate robust, equitable, and sustainable economic development.”

Bicycle tourism can attract visitors and spur growth, Legacion said, adding that it can also help decongest traffic and thus significantly eliminate or at least, reduce losses in travel time and opportunity costs.

Hence, Legacion stressed that it is imperative that policies and infrastructures be laid down in order to ensure the effective advancement of the goals of the city government to create a bicycle-friendly city.

Legacion, who was then vice mayor of the city, said the initiative started in 2016 when he pushed forward for the legislation of the City Ordinance No. 2017-030 or the Naga Bicycle Ordinance.

The legislative measure provides the guidelines and the groundworks for the programs on cycling in the city. Among the initiatives provided under the ordinance is the construction of a bike lane project.

When elected mayor in 2019, Legacion said the local government already mobilized the concerned departments to make the needed engineering plans and secure the needed funding with some through sponsorship agreements with the private sector.

In the planning and establishment of the bike lane, the mayor noted that different civil society groups were involved in the meetings "to create an avenue for people participation."

“We immediately started Phase 1 for the Naga City bike lane project in August of 2020 and completed it in time for the Bike Month in November 2020,” he said.

The Phase 1 of Naga’s bike lane project has 19 kilometers in length and 1.5 meters width, traversing eight barangays of the city.

Aside from the bike lane, the mayor bared that the city government is now working on instituting the first-ever bike hub in the Bicol region, which is situated in a lot in Barangay Panicuason. It will serve as a place for meeting and recreation of bike enthusiasts.

“This hub [was] generously donated to us by benevolent benefactors from the private sector,” the mayor revealed.

After a year since it was established, Legacion cited “drastic [reduction] in the number of cyclists being injured in road incidents.”

Other awards

Meanwhile, three malls in Antipolo City were recognized as the most bike-friendly large commercial establishments nationwide, with SM Cherry Antipolo bagging the Gold Award, and both SM Masinag and Robinsons Place Antipolo receiving the Silver Award.

Valerie de Guzman, founder of Valerides, a courier service provider that supports local farmers and small entrepreneurs in Baguio City, placed first in the Padyak Champion category. She was recognized because of her “continued to serve and provide the needs of the public amid the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Waquin Corregidor, an emergency responder from Leyte, who was in the frontlines when Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) hit back in 2013 and is now working as a bakery employee and pedicab driver, was hailed the Siklista ng Bayan champion this year.

Siklista ng Bayan is a new category launched by the Mobility Awards this year that aims to recognize local entrepreneurs nationwide who are “pedaling” the talk by using active modes of transport to operate.

The initiative aims to replicate and expand the success of its Metro Manila leg in 2020. Last year’s winners were Pasig, San Juan, and Marikina as the most bike-friendly cities in the region.

The SM Mall of Asia, SM Marikina, and Bonifacio High Street were awarded the most bike-friendly commercial establishments last year.

The award-giving body is organized by the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, The Climate Reality Project Philippines, MNL Moves, 350.org Pilipinas, and Pinay Bike Commuter Community, in collaboration with the League of Cities Philippines and 27 regional partners composed of civic groups and active mobility advocates across the country. 

The organizers intend to hold the next nationwide leg of the Mobility Awards in 2022, which will include cities in National Capital Region and incorporate pedestrian-friendly measures in the criteria.

Here’s the full list of winners of the 2021 Mobility Awards:

MAIN AWARDS

Most Bike-Friendly Cities

  1. Nationwide
  • Iloilo City (Gold)
  • Mandaue City (Silver)
  • Naga City (Silver)
  1. Luzon
  • Naga City (Silver)
  • Baguio City (Bronze)
  1. Visayas
  • Iloilo City (Gold)
  • Mandaue City (Silver)
  • Cebu City (Silver)
  1. Mindanao
  • Davao City (Silver)
  • Gingoog City (Bronze)

Most Bike-Friendly (Large) Commercial Establishments

  1. Nationwide
  • SM Cherry Antipolo (Gold)
  • SM Masinag (Silver)
  • Robinsons Place Antipolo (Silver)
  1. Luzon
  • SM Cherry Antipolo (Gold)
  • SM Masinag (Silver)
  • Robinsons Place Antipolo (Silver)
  1. Visayas
  • SM Bacolod (Silver)
  • SM City Cebu (Silver)
  • SM Seaside City Cebu (Silver)
  1. Mindanao
  • SM Lanang Premier Davao (Silver)
  • Robinsons Place Butuan (Silver)
  • Ayala Malls Abreeza in Davao City (Silver)

Most Bike-Friendly Commercial Establishments (Stand-Alone Enterprises)

  1. Nationwide
  • McDonald's Clark Gate in Angeles City (Silver)
  • McDonald's P. Oliveros in Antipolo City (Silver)
  • Tourney Biker Shop in Dipolog City (Bronze)
  1. Luzon
  • McDonald's Clark Gate, Angeles City (Silver)
  • McDonald's P. Oliveros, Antipolo City (Silver)
  • UPLAND KAFE, Cavite City (Bronze)
  1. Visayas
  • KUBO Bikers Park and Coffee, Roxas City (Bronze)
  1. Mindanao
  • Tourney Biker Shop, Dipolog City (Bronze)
  • Cyclelogy Bikeshop, Cagayan de Oro City (Bronze)
  • Natoy's Best Bibingka & Kakainin Store, Davao City (Bronze)

Most Bike-Friendly Workplaces

  1. Nationwide
  • Cebu Business Park (Silver)
  • One Evotech in Sta Rosa City (Silver)
  • Cebu IT Park (Silver)
  1. Luzon
  • One Evotech in Sta Rosa City (Silver)
  • Concentrix Philippines, Nuvali in Sta Rosa City (Silver)
  • Baguio City Hall (Bronze)
  1. Visayas
  • Cebu Business Park (Silver)
  • Cebu IT Park (Silver)
  • Mandaue City Government (Bronze)
  1. Mindanao
  • Local Government Unit of Gingoog (Bronze)
  • Father Saturninos Urios University, Butuan City (Bronze)

SPECIAL AWARDS

Padyak Champion Winners (For Outstanding Cyclist Riders)

  1. Valerie de Guzman, Valerides
  1. Vince Dangiapo, 7DA Errands by Bicycle
  1. Gabriel Barrantes, LUBCO

Padyak Champion Distinction Award Winners (For More Outstanding Cyclist Riders)

  1. Makatao Award: Felix Masuela
  1. Masikap Award: Amir John Andrade
  1. Maaasahan Award: Paul John Adanza

Siklista ng Bayan Winners (For Outstanding Community Cyclist Entrepreneurs)

  1. Waquin Corregidor
  1. Lito Sudario
  1. Peter "Jojo" Montalban

Siklista ng Bayan Distinction Award Winners (For More Outstanding Community Cyclist Entrepreneurs

  1. Makatao Award: Salvador A Repizo Jr.
  1. Masikap Award: Hasmin Baito
  1. Maaasahan Award: Nanay Lydia

Padyak Top Fans (Most Nominations Submitted)

  1. Anton Angelo Arevalo
  1. Melvin lasundin
  1. Christine Jacilldo
  1. Miguel Estrada
  1. Mark Linel Padecio