On 16 March 2021, a 17-year old girl was run over and immediately killed by a truck while cycling along Caribaan Maharlika Road in Tacloban City.

The Interagency Technical Working Group (TWG) on Active Transport, composed of the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and Department of Health (DOH) mourn the death of this young lady and extend our deepest condolences to her family, friends, and loved ones.

With this unfortunate incident and other similar incidents which happened before it, the Interagency TWG on Active Transport is committed to working with civil society and local government units (LGUs) to roll out protected bicycle lanes for the benefit of all Filipino road users1. Plans, policies, and guidelines on the development of such infrastructure are already available2 — we encourage that they are utilized and implemented. We reiterate and echo the call to protect cyclists, pedestrians, and other active transport users — the most vulnerable road users — from fatal road incidents.

We call on LGUs to take the lead in constructing protected bicycle lane networks in accordance with design standards as set out in DPWH DO No. 88, as soon as possible, and to ensure that traffic, and ensure that traffic rules and regulations are enforced correctly to secure the safety of all road users, especially those using light and active transport options. Cycling is one of the most efficient ways to move people across our cities and municipalities — given current limitations on public transport, cycling and other forms of active transport can help users observe physical distancing and maintain open ventilation while traveling.

We further encourage private logistics and transport service providers to ensure the safety of other road users by fitting their trucks and other large vehicles with safety equipment, including side guards to prevent cyclists and pedestrians from being swept under middle or rear wheels in the event of a collision.

Finally, we remind all road users, most especially motorists, to be respectful and to share the road with others, particularly cyclists and pedestrians who are most vulnerable to road crash incidents. They have just as much right to use the road as motorists do. We must all do our part to create roads and communities that are safe and accessible to all.

Let us unite for the protection of all road users, so that the story of the 17-year-old girl in Tacloban whose life was cut short by a preventable incident will be the last of the tragic stories we need to endure. Ligtas na kalsada para sa lahat, ating pangunahan at imulat.