In this May 24, 2020 photo, electric scooter riders enjoy the temporary bike lane from White Planes avenue to Bonny Serrano Avenue, set up by MMDA in partnership Evolution, a movement led by active transport advocates.
The STAR/Michael Varcas
Gov't buildings, malls urged to establish free, safe parking spaces
( - May 29, 2020 - 12:37pm

MANILA, Philippines — Government offices and shopping malls must provide free and secure parking spaces for bicycles to encourage more people to consider biking as the new primary mode of transportation, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said.

In a statement Friday, Recto said that surge in the sale and use bicycles should be met with more infrastructure to accommodate them.

 “It is not enough that we set aside passageways for bicycles. We should also see to it that the public spaces they’re going to have spots where they can leave their bikes safely,” he said, noting that many riders are afraid that their bicycles will be stolen once parked.  

“A bike has as much right as a car when it comes to a parking space. Hindi dapat relegated sila sa isang puno o sa poste o kung saan na lang pwede sila itabi o ikadena,” the senator added.

(They should not be relegated to a tree, a post or anywhere where they can be left or chained.)

Recto said the government should lead in putting up bicycle racks in its offices, public schools hospitals and markets. Malls should also expand parking areas for bicycles, which must be free of charge.

“Cars can cross-subsidize the expenses in maintaining mall parking lots,” he said.

As the country continues to battle the coronavirus disease pandemic, the government is urging the public to consider pedalling their way to workplaces. Once Metro Manila shifts to more relaxed community quarantine, public transit will return although in limited capacity.

“A bike is a social distancing-compliant ride. It will help fill the void in a mass transport with a shrunk capacity,” Recto said.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government told CNN Philippines that it will order local government units to establish bike lanes in their respective jurisdictions.

The Department of Transportation also said bike lanes will soon be installed along EDSA, the capital region’s main thoroughfare. — Gaea Katreena Cabico

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: June 29, 2020 - 4:32pm

Metro Manila and other “highrisk” areas were placed under a modified enhanced community quarantine last May 16, which is more relaxed than ECQ, but has more restrictions compared with the general community quarantine (GCQ). Bookmark this page for updates. Photo by The STAR/Michael Varcas

June 29, 2020 - 4:32pm

The Department of Health on Monday reports 985 COVID-19 cases (643 "fresh" cases and 432 "late" cases), pushing number of virus-infected persons in the Philippines to 36,438.

The health department also confirms 270 new recoveries, bringing the total number of recovered patients to 9,956.

Meanwhile, the 11 additional reported deaths raises the national death toll to 1,255.

June 23, 2020 - 10:41am

Vice President Leni Robredo will go after those who posted "fake news" over her office sending food to a frontliners at a hospital, which were supposedly spoiled.

The vice president clarifies that her spokesperson, lawyer Barry Gutierrez, never visited any hospital during the entire period of the lockdown in Metro Manila.

"If there was no malice, you should have checked first before posting. You should know that posting fake news makes you criminally liable. Let us report him plus all those who reposted. Take screen shots of everything, including those who reposted because we will go after all of them," Robredo said in a social media post.

June 4, 2020 - 12:33pm

The inter-agency task force on COVID-19 revises its guidelines on the movement of persons in areas under modified general community quarantine.

Under IATF Resolution 43, persons below 21 years old, 60 years old and above, with immunodeficiency, comorbodity, other health risks and pregnant women shall remain in their houses at all times.

Mass gatherings for religious services and work conferences will now be allowed in areas under modified general community quarantine, according to IATF Resolution 43. However, the gatherings should be limited to only 50% seating capacity.

May 31, 2020 - 11:43am

Business groups, including the Makati Business Club and Management Association of the Philippines, express disappointment at government officials "violating with impunity" the very same quarantine protocols the government has imposed.

Noting how government have affected millions, the groups say they are "disappointed — even appalled and dismayed — about news reports of public officials violating with impunity the IATF and DOH protocols intended to protect public health."

The statement was signed by MBC, MAP, the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Canadian Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines, Financial Executives of the Philippines, Institute of Corporate Directors, Institute for Solidarity in Asia, and the Judicial Reform Initiative.

May 30, 2020 - 4:20pm

The Department of Tourism says they welcome the gradual re-opening of tourism operations in light of the varied community quarantine levels across the country.

“It's important for the tourism sector to open as soon as possible, albeit slowly, gradually and cautiously, so that those who lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic will be able to work and earn again.”, says Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat

Travel for tourism purposes may be allowed only between places under modified general community quarantine, and subject to travel restrictions imposed by the local government units.

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