Poe pushes for 'walkable' Metro Manila, urban areas amid oil price hikes

Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 09 2022 05:37 PM

Commuters walk towards the underpass at a loading bay in Manila on May 17, 2022. The Department of Health (DOH) confirmed that three more cases of the COVID-19 omicron BA.2.12.1 subvariant have been detected in the Philippines, bringing the total to 17. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News
Commuters walk towards the underpass at a loading bay in Manila on May 17, 2022. The Department of Health (DOH) confirmed that three more cases of the COVID-19 omicron BA.2.12.1 subvariant have been detected in the Philippines, bringing the total to 17. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — Sen. Grace Poe on Thursday said she would refile her bill that would encourage people to walk more instead of frequently using transportation, amid soaring prices of basic petroleum products and commodities.

"Yes. Will definitely refile,” Poe said when asked about her proposed “Sustainable Elevated Walkways Act.”

The proposed measure, which only reached the Senate committee on public works and highways in the 18th Congress, seeks to duplicate the elevated walkways abroad, like the “Skylink” system at Manchester Airport in the United Kingdom and a similar project in Sheung Wan, Hong Kong.

Poe’s proposal is to construct elevated pathways in Metro Manila and other urban areas in the country so people can be encouraged to walk to their target destination, which in turn, would eventually lessen transportation demand and traffic and result to cleaner air.

“The ultimate goal is to create a safe, comfortable, well-connected quality of life above the ground (grade) level, reclaiming without killing the street,” the bill’s Explanatory Note stated.

To encourage people to walk longer, the Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education and local government units will be tasked to establish “educational and awareness programs” which will center on the advantages and importance of using elevated pathways.

“Further, elevated walkways must be interlinked in a manner that connects pedestrian movement to retail, residential, commercial, and business activities, as well as to adopt essential access points that facilitate pedestrian entry to and exit ground level walkways,” the senator said.

Initial funding for the pathways’ construction will be sourced from the National Treasury.