September 5, 2023
A significant increase from the past two years, with 7.3 million cyclists recorded in April 2022 and 6.2 million cyclists estimated in May 2021, the recent SWS findings highlight the growing reliance of many Filipinos on bicycles for transport, livelihood, and recreation. This year’s respondents cited economic benefits, health improvements, financial savings, and reduced travel time as their main reasons for cycling.
In response, Mobility Awards National Coordinator Arielle Celine Tabinga said:
“The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has already said that a bike revolution is underway. The latest SWS survey provides solid evidence that this movement is not only persisting but steadily gaining momentum. With Filipino citizens leading the change, our collective vision of a safer and more inclusive transportation system is clear. Bicycles are no longer confined as a recreational pastime; but instead have emerged as a dependable, healthy, affordable, and convenient mode of transportation for Filipinos.
While we are headed in the right direction, conditions are still far from optimal. We still have a lot of work to do, and we need all hands on deck to ensure that Filipinos are secure and comfortable in our streets and shared spaces across the country. We call on our leaders in the national and local governments – in particular, the MMDA, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the Department of Transportation (DoTr), and city executives – to pave the way and work together to provide safe and interconnected infrastructures to cyclists, pedestrians, and commuters.
While the data proves that more Filipinos are cycling, the nomination period of this year’s Mobility Awards has shown that many citizens are concerned that current efforts are falling short. Despite the survey indicating a rising number of Filipino cyclists, there is a resounding sentiment among bicycle users that only a handful of cities, establishments, and workplaces are stepping up to the changing times. With this increase in cyclists must come the development of policies, programs, and infrastructure to prioritize active mobility and respond to bicycle commuters’ growing needs.
In the Mobility Awards’ final week of nominations, we continue to challenge lagging cities, businesses, and workplaces to heed the call of the significant number of Filipino bicycle users. Seize the opportunity to advance inclusive, responsive, and clean transport options in our cities, and the true rewards of good work come from citizens who benefit from and recognize your acts of leadership.”
The Mobility Awards is co-convened by the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), The Climate Reality Project Philippines, 350 Pilipinas, MNL Moves, and Pinay Bike Commuter Community. Nominations are still open for this year’s installment, and will end on September 7. Visit https://www.mobilityawards.ph/ for more information.