13 0 0 4 weeks ago 4 min to read

Tax on road users to fund elevated walkways and bike lanes

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In densely populated parts of Metro Manila and other developed cities across the nation, improved pedestrian mobility can be achieved with some of the PHP82.2 billion in unutilized road users’ tax.

Ralph Recto, the deputy speaker of the House, said in a news release on Sunday that the government should take more sidewalks and bike lanes into account when planning its infrastructure program because they “have been buried and waylaid” in the infrastructure list for years.

The motor vehicle registration fees, whose unapplied amount reached P82.2 billion as of 2021, can be used to finance the building of pedestrian-centric paths.

Recto said in a statement that it was time to put wide pedestrian and bicycle lanes, whether they were elevated or on the ground, covered or not, in the same category as big construction projects.

He continued by saying that the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), which is in charge of collecting fees under Republic Act 8794, also known as the Motor Vehicle User’s Fee law, should be in charge of planning the construction and upgrading of walkways and bike lanes.

The Department of Transportation is currently responsible for maintaining safe walking and biking routes (DOTr).

Recto stated, “I believe DPWH should become involved since these projects more closely fall within its purview than they do to DOTr.

He emphasized that constructing elevated pathways in locations with a high concentration of pedestrians will relieve traffic congestion and provide people the option of walking to nearby destinations.

People would much rather walk a one or two kilometer distance if there were safe, covered sidewalks, according to him. “Mas nanaisin ng mga tao na lakarin na lang ang isa o dalawang kilometro,” he remarked.

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