Ang Probinsyano Partylist Representative Ronnie Ong says Filipinos who bike to work should be exempted from taxes

By Nicole Ganglani | Photo from Lifestyle.Inquirer.net

To promote biking culture in the Philippines, Ang Probinsyano Partylist Representative Ronnie Ong said on Sunday, June 14 that Filipinos who commute to work using their bicycles should be entitled to tax relief, extra pay credits and food vouchers.

“Providing incentives for people who bike to work is a small price to pay for its immeasurable benefits. This would translate to billions of economic opportunities and billions of savings on capital expenditures. More importantly, we are investing for the future of the next generation and the future of our planet,” Ong said in a statement published on Manila Bulletin.

Ong, who launched a bicycle program called #LibrengBisikleta, believes that the initiative to provide incentives for bike commuting Filipinos should be added to the proposed Bicycle Law that was filed by Senators Pia Cayetano and Manny Pacquiao. The party-list representative is encouraging the government to follow the examples of bike-friendly countries like the Netherlands and United Kingdom who pay their citizens for using a bike to travel to their workplace.

“Whereas in the past, motorized vehicles have been synonymous with modernization, first world countries around the world are going back to basics by encouraging their citizens to use non-motorized modes of transport,” says Ong.

He also says that turning the Philippines into a bike-friendly country will help reduce government expenses on traffic maintenance, healthcare, and pollution control. 

As of writing, the Metro Manila Development Authority has set up bike lanes along EDSA but cycling advocates have voiced their concern about this matter. The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has also released its EDSA bike lane proposal in hopes of encouraging more Filipinos to utilize a bicycle to commute. 

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