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In an editorial entitled “At their own pace” (November 1, 2015), the Philippine Daily Inquirer voiced its support for initiatives to make Manila a walkable and likeable city. Correctly identifying the motorist-centric planning paradigm is root of the mobility problem in Metro Manila, the editorial highlights both the problems that bikers and pedestrians encounter – as well as their huge potential in solving many of our problems. The editorial then gives voice to pedestrian issues:

Yet another crusade has been mounted by a group of people determined to exercise their right to walk the streets if and when they want to. Gideon Lasco, physician, anthropologist, and regular contributor to Inquirer Opinion, is project leader of “Walk Manila,” an effort to make the metropolis “walkable.” In a recent commentary, Lasco wrote: “We pedestrians hold as self-evident the truth that walking is the most natural of the means of transportation available to humankind.” He called for the defense of existing pedestrian lanes and the creation of “walking corridors between areas with high volumes of exchange,” as well as “the creation of an enabling environment for walking—one that is safe from street criminals and motor vehicles alike, and one that considers the needs of persons with disabilities.”

The piece ends with a strong endorsement for these various initiatives:

Those who seek to walk and to ride bikes want to make their own way to and from their destinations, at their own pace. They mean to get their voices heard in this concrete jungle stewing in motor emissions. They deserve all the support they can get.

We commend the Philippine Daily Inquirer for voicing support for our efforts, and we wish that we can continue to count on the press and mass media to help us broadcast our message for a walkable Metro Manila.

Written by Gideon Lasco

Gideon Lasco is a medical doctor, anthropologist, writer, and environmental advocate.

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