In a nutshell: the Philippines is taking steps to reduce its carbon footprint. Here are two very tangible ways that local governments are trying to help save the planet.
I must admit that it warms my heart to read this. Makati City is the latest to join the ranks of Philippine cities that use eco-friendly transportation. Among the other cities that use transport methods that are friendlier for the environment than traditional gas-fueled jeepneys and tricycles, are Taguig City (whose Bonifacio Global City uses battery-powered tricycles) and Puerto Princesa, Palawan (whose tricycles are running on biofuel).
According to the article, the eJeepney Makati Green Route will consist of 10 jeepneys, each able to accommodate up to 14 passengers, plying areas in Legaspi and Salcedo Villages – for free. Starting and ending at the Landmark Department Store, the jeeps will accommodate 15 stops along its loop; a fully charged jeepney will run 65 kilometers before it needs recharging. With lower air emissions and less noise – and, did I mention, transport for free – this project is a win-win for everyone! The eJeepney program is a project of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), a nongovernmental organization, in collaboration with the Makati City government, Binalot Fiesta Foods, Makati Parking Authority, Makati Commercial Estate Association, Philippine Bio Sciences Co. Inc., and the National Center for Transportation Studies. (Thank you, thank you!)
Also a very exciting development in eco-friendly transport for Philippine cities is the news that the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) will now allow folding bicycles onto their trains, in a project they call Bike O2 (or Bike-On, Bike-Off). The LRTA has designed certain spaces on certain LRT trains as “green zones,” or places where bikers can “park” their bikes while riding the trains.
This is, in my opinion, an absolutely brilliant idea. I’ve always advocated the idea of bicycle lanes. BO2 will help us reduce our carbon footprint, save money on gasoline and car maintenance, and get in better shape. If we accord bicycle lanes, that may make this entire endeavor even safer, and encourage people to bike more often. Folding bikes aren’t that expensive – a little less than Php2,000 for a second-hand unit, according to the article, and environmental or advocacy groups like the Firefly Brigade, a group of bikers encouraging other people to take up biking as a means of traveling, the UP Mountaineers, the Padyak Project Foundation and the Tiklop Society are already on board for BO2.
This would be terrific for me since Victory Fort, the church in the Philippines for which I work, is a short drive away from the Ayala and Gil Puyat MRTs. (Is the MRT operated by LRTA? Parang hindi. Uh oh.)
God bless all government and nongovernment efforts to reduce our carbon footprint! Panalo kayo!