The Bayanihan to Recover as One Act, also known as the Bayanihan II Act, has been signed into law. Its P9.5 billion in appropriations is meant to help the Philippines bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic, but it also covers some mobility initiatives under the Department of Transportation (DOTr).
In a Facebook post, the Department of Finance (DOF) shared that some of the interventions for the transport sector include providing assistance to businesses affected by the pandemic, the promotion of active modes of transport such as cycling, and the setting up of public utility vehicle (PUV) service contracting initiatives and additional pedestrian infrastructure. Look:
Under PUV service contracting, the government will subsidize operators to ply routes despite the low demand—a big help now that more businesses are beginning to open and working commuters could potentially face a shortage of rides in some areas.
DOTr assistant secretary Mark Steven Pastor expressed confidence in PUV service contracting’s ability to revive the transport sector: “The program will provide guaranteed revenues to our transport industry, regardless of the passenger demand—which is the intention of this law,” he said.
The infrastructure that will be built include more sidewalks and bike lanes, as well as a proposed 644km bicycle lane network across Metro Manila’s circumferential and radial roads.
How big of a deal will the transport sector be in the country’s recovery process? Let us know what you think in the comments.