Sustainable transport gets boost in Baguio City
January 26, 2023
BAGUIO CITY – A total of 30 cyclists pedaled from Malcolm Square to the Baguio City Hall during the advocacy bike ride held by the Low Carbon Urban Transport Systems (LCT) Project to promote biking as an efficient, essential, and sustainable form of transportation.
The LCT Project, implemented by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), through funding support from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), aims to create an enabling environment for the commercialization of low-carbon urban transport systems. The project provides policy support to four pilot cities in the Philippines, namely, Baguio, Iloilo, Pasig, and Sta. Rosa, and develop their institutional capacity and increase private sector participation and investment.
In collaboration with the City Government of Baguio and Daily Cycle Movement, an advocacy bike ride to promote low-carbon transport was held on 20 January 2023 covering a 20-kilometer route around the city. Participants included advocacy groups, city staff, government partners, and the LCT Project staff. With 57% of Baguio City’s riding public relying on Public Utility Jeepneys (PUJs), there is an opportunity to shift to low to zero-carbon modes of transportation that will reduce emissions and the overall effect of the transport sector on climate change.
After the advocacy bike ride, the 9th Project Board Meeting was convened to discuss the progress of the project. Among the matters presented to the board were the Incentive Scheme for Transport Cooperatives, which aims to make the operation of electric vehicles (EVs) affordable and financially sustainable, and a showcase of the developments of LCT in the four pilot cities.
Also present during the Project Board meeting were Director Dir. Francis Ray Almora of the Department of Transportation - Land Transportation Office, Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, Ms. Karen Silva Crisostomo, Pasig City Active Transport Specialist, Mr. Gary Abadines, Project Evaluation Officer from the Santa Rosa City City Planning and Development Office, and Mr. Jose Roni S. Peñalosa, Iloilo City Planning and Development Coordinator.
Lastly, an EV mobility test run was conducted along the South Dr. to Harrison Rd. route to demonstrate the capability and performance of the EVs intended for public transport use. This is the second test run since 2022 and it seeks to inform the Project Board of the viability of EVs in Baguio City despite its sloping terrain.
Mayor Magalong underscored their commitment to pursue the use of EVs in the city’s transport system. “Another project, aside from mobility and promoting bikes, is the electrical vehicles. One private sector partner is here to introduce an electric charging station. We will make sure that it will be a successful endeavor so that we will be able to significantly lower our carbon emissions. UNDP is subsidizing a number of electric vehicles,” he shared.
Beyond the actual performance of the EVs, UNDP Philippines Deputy Resident Representative Edwine Carrie also recognized the importance of getting the buy-in of the transport sector stakeholders. “The LCT Project aims to make the shift to low carbon urban transport accessible and sustainable, especially to the transport operators. We are also hopeful to extend the scope of the project beyond the four pilot cities,” he said.
The LCT Project seeks to secure the support of the LGUs so that they join the call to turn electric through the public transport system. Aside from the four pilot cities, the Project also looks to broaden its scope to other eligible cities in the Philippines. In the long term, it seeks to increase the appetite of the general public for alternative modes of transportation outside the typical fossil fuel-run vehicles and modes. ###
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