Dignity for Commuters: Magna Carta Being Pushed in Congress
This new bill seeks to ensure our basic right to mobility.
(SPOT.ph) There's no such thing as a leisurely walk in Metro Manila. Moving around is a daily problem for the millions of people who travel our roads daily—like blood flowing through veins—to keep our city alive. Mobility has always been a basic human right, but a new bill seeks not only to ensure this right, but to give us a more "dignified" aspect to our daily commuting struggles. The Magna Carta for Commuters has been filed in both houses of Congress, giving us hope that we might someday not end our commuting adventure looking and feeling like something the cat dragged in.
Filed on July 31, "An Act Creating a Magna Carta of Commuters" or House Bill No. 3125 was authored by Quezon City Representative Allan Benedict Reyes to ensure commuters are able to travel "safely, conveniently and reliably." In a note to his bill, Reyes added that 32 people die on a daily basis due to road accidents, citing data from the Philippine Statistics Authority.
"An Act Providing for a Magna Carta for Dignified Commuting" or Senate Bill No. 775 was filed by Senator Kiko Pangilinan on July 24. This bill lists down the commuters' basic rights that must be ensured, a few of which are: Adequate Transportation Services, Road Safety, Mobility Infrastructure, Clean Air, and Participation in Decision-Making Processes.
The Senate bill also provides for a more efficient transport system, stating that waiting time at bus stops should be limited to 10 minutes—even during peak hours—and that stops should be no more than 300 meters apart or away from city hubs. It also puts emphasis on walking and bike lanes.
In his note, Pangilinan said that commuters who use public transportation make up around 70% of the trips in Metro Manila, but only have 20% of road space. Both bills were filed in collaboration with AltMobility PH, a transport advocacy group.
Main image by Kevyn Tapnio.