MANILA, Philippines – Efforts by the Pasig City government to promote the use of bicycles as an alternative mode of transportation got a big boost with the turnover of 50 units of bicycles to personnel of the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO), Clean and Green Office, and Solid Waste Management Office on Monday.
Ricky Pineda, president of the Firefly Brigade, said the turnover of the bicycles, which is in support of the City Government's Bike Loan program, was intended to promote the use of non-motorized vehicles.
He said under the Bike Loan program, employees of the city government may purchase the bicycles which they can pay on an installment basis. He said the initial batch of 50 units of bicycles have been approved for loan.
Pineda said the Firefly Brigade is a non-governmental organization that seeks to promote the use of bicycles as an alternative and sustainable mode of transportation for a healthier environment.
The turnover of the bicycles was one of the activities which highlighted the fourth year anniversary of the Pasig Green City program during simple ceremonies held at the M. Eusebio Quadrangle in Pasig City with city Mayor Bobby C. Eusebio as the main guest.
The theme for this year's anniversary is "Maghanda Laban sa Baha at Sakuna."
Aside from the turnover of bicycles, other activities include the launched of the Smoke-Free Campus Advocacy program of the city government and the campaign to reduce the use of plastic bags in the city.
Eusebio was joined by public and private school representatives as well as by Prof. Rowena Daroy-Morales, project director of the Enforcement and Implementation of the Tobacco Regulation Act of the UP College of Law Foundation during the launching of the Smoke-Free Campus Advocacy.
The program seeks for the strict implementation of RA 9211 or the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003 particularly in areas near schools, parks and areas frequented by minors.
Meanwhile, members of the Market Vendors Association and representatives from fast food restaurants and other business establishments joined the local government in its campaign to reduce the use of plastic bags by signing the Pledge for the Regulation of Plastic Use.
Through this agreement, market vendors and representatives of fast food and other establishments agree to limit the use of plastic bags to dry goods while implementing a ban on styro-foam and similar materials as container for food, produce and other products.
“The Pasig Green City is the firm embodiment of our resolve to prove that sustainable development is achievable if we devote the same amount of energy in pursuing progress as well as in caring for the environment. Much as we have achieved in the past years, there is much to be done with the twin issues of global warming and climate change and their effects becoming more apparent and we cannot afford to be complacent with what we have achieved," Eusebio said in a statement.
Since the inception in 2006 of the Green City program, Pasig City has surpassed its target of planting 20,000 trees by 2010 and has reduced its solid waste by 29 percent through the implementation of waste segregation and recycling programs.
The city government, through the CENRO, also gave recognition to NGO's and local government offices which have helped ensure the successful implementation of the Pasig Green City's various projects and activities during the past years. (Francis T. Wakefield)