Dignity in commuting bill filed in House
The House of Representatives filed its version of a bill that seeks to define the rights of the commuting public as congestion worsens in urban and rural areas.
House Bill 3125, also known as The Magna Carta of Commuters, was filed by Rep. Allan Benedict Reyes. It follows the filing of Senate Bill No. 775, or the Dignity in Commuting Act, last month by Sen. Francis Pangilinan.
“Improving mobility propels economic growth and reduces inequality,” Reyes noted in the bill.
“Unfortunately, Filipinos have long suffered mobility issues. This disproportionately affects the most vulnerable in the country: the young and the elderly, the women, the poor, the working class and the persons with disabilities who mostly rely on public transportation and active transport in every part of the country,” he added.
One of its key provisions is the creation of an Office of Commuter Affairs under the Department of Transportation.
Among others, it will coordinate with government agencies in dealing with road, air and maritime transportation policy to ensure safe, efficient and comfortable travel for commuters. It will also operate help desks, assist commuters, launch education programs and even legal assistance for commuters.
Under the bill, the state must also ensure that adequate public transport services are available to meet the needs of its citizens. This includes the monitoring of mobility requirements and the development of programs to address these needs.
Among these, the government must ensure that public transport is given priority use of road space and traffic signal operations.
Every town and municipally must have an “integrated and interconnected network” of sidewalks, roads and bicycle lanes. Public transport stations must also be available within 500 meters from any residence or activity center while stations must be located in 300-meter intervals.
All networks other than expressways and toll roads shall feature dedicated pedestrian walking paths of at least 2.5 meters in each direction.
The state must also ensure safe, convenient and affordable public transport services. To promote non-motorized transport, the government must provide bicycle racks that can accommodate 10 percent of the “anticipated users” of any building.
Under House Bill 3125, any person or government agency violating its provisions will be fined anywhere from P200,000 to P500,000.
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