In celebration of the National Bicycle Day, OIC Health Undersecretary Beverly Ho, together with Metro Manila CHD Director Gloria Balboa, today joined Sec. Jaime Bautista and other key representatives at the Bike Lane Awards organized by the IATF TWG on Active Transport to showcase and recognize efforts of different stakeholders to promote cycling and other active transport modalities in the country.
During the event, USec Ho discussed the importance of developing adequate and sufficient active transport infrastructure in enabling Filipinos to develop healthy habits, such as regularly engaging in physical activities. Towards this end, USec Ho highlighted the DOH’s efforts in supporting the active transport initiatives of several LGUs, such as Cordova, Isabela, Aklan, Marikina, and Bulacan, through provision of financial and technical assistance. USec Ho likewise lauded the efforts of the winning LGUs, particularly Mandaue City, Quezon City, and IloIlo City.
On the other hand, DOH OIC Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire extended her support for the event, emphasizing collaboration as key to improving the health and wellness of Filipinos for a Healthy Pilipinas.
“For us in the health sector, a key learning from the pandemic is that minimum public health standards such as masking and physical distancing are not enough to create healthy and pandemic-resilient communities; we must also create settings that encourage healthy behaviors such as physical activity.
This is why we are proud to stand with our partners from the DOTr, the DPWH, the DILG, from local governments, civil society, and the private sector, who we worked with to make active transport safer and more accessible for Filipinos. In just two years, the Philippines built over 500 kilometers of bicycle and active transport lanes, benefitting thousands. At any time, this is no small feat, but during the pandemic, we managed to achieve the impossible.
We are grateful to our local governments for not only recognizing the importance of active transport, but for taking the lead in building municipalities and cities that make active transport possible. Mabuhay kayong lahat — awarded or not, know that the Department of Health will continue to support and work with you, to promote active transport and other healthy behaviors, para sa Healthy Pilipinas,” the DOH OIC said.