Moving Up with Clean Air: Metro Manila Air quality Improvement Sector Development Program


About The City
Marikina is one of the 17 municipalities and cities that comprise Metro Manila. It has won both the very prestigious “Cleanest City” in Metro Manila and the “Model City” award. It has an employment rate of 84%, a garbage collection efficiency of 99% (the highest in Metro Manila), and almost 650,000 trees planted all over Marikina, thus making it one of the most breathable areas in Metro Manila.

Their Efforts for A More Breathable Environment

For many years Marikina has strongly advocated the clean air campaign. Their initial efforts were rewarded with a financial grant from World Bank, which is being earmarked for bicycle lanes, an effective alternative form of transportation for short distances. There is also a conscious effort by the City government to get people to support and observe measures that are geared towards clean air, such as discarding the two stroke motorcycles, proper maintenance of cars, factories and industrial machinery, planting of trees, and allied activities such as installation of gasoline centers which sell only unleaded fuel, anti smoke belching and strict monitoring of industrial emissions. There is also the ongoing effort of planting up to 1,000 trees on a daily basis around the city.

The flagship project, and so far the most daring project to date by the Marikina government in its campaign for clean air is the Marikina Bikeways Project. This was conceived under the term of then Mayor Bayani Fernando. The project’s aim was to promote low cost and environment friendly transport. Through the provision of space dedicated to bikeways in existing roads, the project expects to encourage more residents to use bicycles around the city. Biking as an alternative means of city transport is both economical and pollution free because Bikeways would greatly increase mobility for whatever purpose they have in mind and at the same time promote a more healthy lifestyle and the gradual reduction of air pollution caused by transport vehicles.

Marikina has been the recipient of some financial grant amounting to US$ 1.3 M from World Bank. It then earmarked US$ 50,000 for the construction of the pilot scheme along Sumulong Highway. Package I of the main grant is now underway and Package II will start implementation early this year. The project components include allocation and delineation of bikeways in sustainable existing roads, the identification and construction of parking facilities for bicycles, upgrading of riverside bike lanes and their extension through construction of bike lanes to cover the entire stretch of both riversides and the establishment of safety programs for bikers.

To date, the status of the Bikeway project stands with the construction of 1.3 km of locally funded bikeways and .05725 km. Of World Bank-GEF funded bikeways, the ongoing preparation of detailed engineering plans of 43.92 km. of on-road bicycle lanes, implementation of an outreach program on Safe cycling Education in several public schools in tandem with the city’s regular Saturday Bicycle Clinic, coordination with the DOTC-LRT to make the LRT@ Station in Santolan/ Kalumpang Access bicycle-friendly and preparation of Marikina Bicycle Guide Book to serve as future reference. In the future the project aims to complete the 66 km. bicycle network by the end of 2005, the implementation of the anti-smoke belching program beginning with the government owned service vehicles and active campaign for the promotion of the bicycle program to nearby cities and municipalities.


About The City

San Fernando City is the capitol for the entire Region I, also known as the Ilocos Region. It has been called the gateway and springboard of economic progress in the North because it acts as the center of trade/commerce, finance, health and education. The whole area itself boasts of various cultural tourism wonders.

Efforts for A More Breathable Environment

Mayor Jane Ortega initiated the phasing out of over 1,200 two-stroke tricycles, once she learned that they were a major source of air pollution because of the type of oil they burned. She also cited health concerns to the drivers. The city government also offered incentives for the upgrade or complete change of motorcycles by offering loans for the drivers to upgrade their units, some more than 30 years old, to the preferred 4- stroke engines. She offered two months moratorium, ten months to pay through equal monthly installments without interest and with a free driver’s uniform in the near future to protect them from the sun. After the first year the 25-30 year old two stroke cycles were phased out. This was based on the positive response of the drivers who seemed happy with the policy so much so that even those who were not required to change their tricycles opted to have new ones. The city government also came up with the proposal for a new terminal.

She proudly cited the Asian Institute of Management in its recent studies in competitive cites “Pinoy City on the Rise” in which San Fernando City came in number one in the quality of life concern for the environment. She stressed that being number two in the “Sector of Small Cities” for a better quality of life requires a good environmental policy.


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