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Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu expressed hope the use of bicycle as a means of public transportation will continue even after the COVID-19 pandemic is over, citing its potential to fight climate change.

“With COVID-19, we have rediscovered the benefits of cycling and walking—saving money, getting fit, and helping to reduce pollution and mitigate climate change. We can choose to keep this momentum,” Cimatu said.

Cimatu threw his full support behind the bicycle movement during the celebration of National Bicycle Day on Sunday.

Last Nov. 18, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte issued Proclamation No. 1052 declaring the fourth Sunday of November of every year as National Bicycle Day to promote bicycle as a sustainable and environment-friendly mode of transportation.

With the declaration, Cimatu said Filipinos can be assured of “better air quality and a healthier environment.”

According to Cimatu, bike riding could play an important role in combating climate change as it could reduce carbon emissions.

“If no changes are made on the climate front, the global average temperature will exceed the 2 degrees centigrade temperature limit set by the Paris Agreement by 2030,” Cimatu pointed out.

“A 20-percent increase in cycling worldwide could cut carbon dioxide emissions from urban passenger transport by nearly 11 percent in 2050.”

To encourage more people to use bicycle in Metro Manila, the government will be constructing a 600-kilometer interconnected, protected bike lanes and racks, and bicycle-sharing systems.

This project will be funded by a P1.3 billion allocation in Bayanihan to Recover as One Act, or the Bayanihan 2 Act.

“Every kilometer of bike ride helps reduce road congestion and air pollution, and improves riders’ health,” Cimatu pointed out. “Let us make a difference. Ride a bike!” ###