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MANILA – The country will mark every 4th Sunday of November of every year as "National Bicycle Day" to promote the environmental benefits of bicycles based on the latest proclamation of President Rodrigo Duterte.

In Proclamation No. 1052 he signed on November 18, Duterte declared the annual occasion to ensure ecological integrity and a clean and healthy environment by raising public awareness on eco-friendly technologies, systems, and practices.

"There is a need to highlight the importance of non-motorized transportation as a means of fostering sustainable development and promoting environmental health that is conducive to the physical health and well-being of all Filipinos," the proclamation read.

Under the proclamation, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), in coordination with relevant non-government organizations and civil society groups, will lead the observance and celebration of National Bicycle Day.

All other agencies and instrumentalities of the national government, including government -owned or -controlled corporations and state universities and colleges, are enjoined and all local government units, as well as the private sector, are encouraged to actively participate and render support and assistance to the DENR for the effective implementation of the proclamation.

More people have started riding bicycles when lockdowns were implemented across the country due to the prevailing coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

Last May, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) urged local government units (LGUs) to establish bicycle lanes in all local roads to support those who will bike to their work destinations due to the reduced capacity of public transportation under community quarantine.

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said LGUs must also ensure that all bicycle lanes are free from any obstruction to prevent any untoward road accidents.

LGUs must also enact ordinances to impose reasonable penalties on violations in the use of the bicycle lanes to ensure that both motorists and cyclists follow the regulations along the said lanes, he added.

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), last June, also created a Technical Working Group to directly coordinate with the Department of Transportation and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority for the preparation of a conceptual design and construction of a Metro Manila-wide bicycle lane for national and local roads. (PNA)