Photography by Francis Manaog and Diana Zoned Films.
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has released the results of a year-long bike count done in 2022 by its Bike Lane Program Office (BLPO), with over 1.7 million bicycle trips made along Ortigas Avenue, Quirino Highway, and Commonwealth Avenue. The growing community of bikers has shown that cycling is a viable mode of transportation in the country.
“The MMDA confirms what we’ve been saying all along: that there is momentum for a mobility revolution—driven by clean, fossil fuel-free, noise-free vehicles powered by hardworking Filipinos,” added Aldrin Pelicano, ICSC’s Inclusive Mobility Advisor and founder of the online community MNL Moves.
“The [bike count] shows that truly, when we give space for people on bikes in our streets, they will choose cycling over driving motor vehicles. Not only does it help ease the constant pressure on our public transport but also contributes to reducing road congestion. The challenge now is to ensure the bike lanes are safe and connected for everyone to use and get them to their destinations.”
To keep the cycling momentum going, the Mobility Awards aims to recognize those who helped pave the road for more inclusive and sustainable mobility in the country. Nominations for this year’s Mobility Awards are open until September 7, the public is encouraged to nominate bike-friendly cities, workplaces, and establishments in the country in its final week.
The Mobility Awards is the first citizen-led, incentive-driven campaign encouraging the citizens, workers, and consumers to recognize cities, private companies, and employers who have taken measures towards better, safer, and more accessible mobility for the 88 percent of Filipino households who do not own cars.
Aldrin describes the Mobility Awards as an exercise in democracy. At its heart, the initiative is a call for Filipinos to take ownership of their rights, engage with governance, and appeal to their cities to improve conditions for urban mobility.
This year’s Awards is also open for individuals under the Padyak Power to the People! Awards, namely Siklista ng Bayan and Padyak Champion categories. In celebrating those who choose to cycle, these award titles humanize and put a face to the conversation on active transport, Aldrin adds. The stories of hardworking Filipinos serving their communities while experiencing firsthand the struggles of cycling in a car-centric urbanscape are as deserving of recognition.
For LGUs, workplaces, and establishments looking to make strides in their own bike-friendly practices, Aldrin advises starting small. The Mobility Awards is an opportunity to learn from nominees but even a simple bike rack encourages customers and staff to choose cycling as a sustainable mode of transport. Regular commuters, too, have a far-reaching influence in sharing their experiences of getting around on bike with others. As more and more people adopt urban mobility practices, it sets an example for the rest of the country to follow suit in a shared vision of better cities for all.
The Mobility Awards is jointly organized by the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, MNL Moves, The Climate Reality Project Philippines, 350 Pilipinas, and Pinay Bike Commuter Community, in partnership with League of Cities Philippines and regional partners across the country.
The public can submit their nominations through mobilityawards.ph/nominate until September 7. The awardees will be announced in October in advance observance of World Cities’ Day.
Click here to learn more about this year’s nominations and categories for the Mobility Awards.