FREE HELMET. A biker gets a free helmet from a Quezon City government employee along Quezon Avenue on Friday (Oct. 2, 2020). Netizens urged the city government to prioritize those in need in the distribution of helmets ahead of the implementation of an ordinance on its mandatory use by bikers on October 15. (Photo grabbed from QC government FB page)
MANILA – Netizens urged the Quezon City government on Friday to prioritize the needy in the distribution of free helmets for bicycle riders in the city.
This came as the city approved an ordinance requiring the use of helmets for bikers and imposing fines for violators.
“Sana mabigyan po ako. janitor lang po ako may tatlong anak, sa lahat ng ayuda minalas ako, kahit helmet man lang mabigyan ako (I wish that I be given one. I work as a janitor and I have three children. I did not receive any cash assistance in the past, I hope to receive at least a helmet),” Ronnie Sanchez Alo said in his post.
Maayon Sheryllene, meanwhile, wished in her post written in a mix of English and Filipino that her husband be given a helmet because his meager salary is barely enough to buy a helmet and they have more important expenses to prioritize.
Vinz Matthew Fugaban, in his post, asked that he also be given a helmet as he only borrows the bicycle that he is using.
“Saan po kaya pwde makahingi ng helmet sa kagaya ko na nanghihiram lng ng bike para may magamit sa pagde-deliver ng paninda walang kakayanan makabili ng helmet. May pinapagamot din po akong anak na may sakit na cancer. Walang kakayanan makabili ng bike lalo na helmet wala hiram lng po (Where does somebody like me get a helmet because I only borrow the bicycle that I am using to deliver items and I don’t have the capability to buy a helmet since I am spending for the medicines of my child who is sick with cancer. I can’t even buy a bicycle of my own),” Fugaban said.
Meanwhile, Roberto Jr David said that aside from giving free helmets, the city government should come up with other measures to ensure the safety of bikers. This includes the strict enforcement of speed limit in the city’s roads for motorists and the minimum distance between motorists and cyclists.
He also suggested that city government officials should try biking going to work for a month to be able to fully assess the safety of bikers.
Another netizen, Ignacio Sabas Mamposte called for the establishment of more bicycle lanes especially in major roads.
“Kung concerned po kayo sa kaligtasan nmin at kung ikakabuti ng lahat, susunod ako. Paki-ayos naman po ang mga bike lanes, sa Commonwealth Avenue wala pa, nakakatakot dyan lalo na may mga bus na, hulihin din ninyo ung mga 4-wheel na umaagaw ng bike lane, pati mga motorcycle, mga iba ginagawang parking ‘yan (if you really are concerned with our safety and for the sake of everyone I am willing to follow. Please fix the bike lanes, in Commonwealth Avenue there’s none and that road is dangerous especially there are buses. Apprehend motorists who drive in the bike lane. Some motorcycles are also parked there),” he said.
Others, meanwhile, said that instead of giving the helmets to chance bikers in the city, these should have been distributed per barangay to assure that those who really need it will receive one.
On Friday, the city government distributed free helmets along Quezon Avenue to bicycle riders.
In a Facebook post, QC personnel prioritized senior citizens as well as indigent residents who use the bicycle as their mode of transportation in going to and from their workplaces and in doing their errands.
“Pinapaalalahanan ang lahat na magsisimula nang magmulta ang lungsod sa mga walang helmet na siklista simula October 15, alinsunod sa Ordinance No. SP-2942 na nagnanais gawing ligtas ang bikers ng Quezon City (we would like to remind everyone that starting October 15, the city government will start to fine bicycle riders who will be caught not wearing their helmets, in accordance with Ordinance No. SP-2942 that aims to make bikers in Quezon City safe),” Mayor Joy Belmonte said in a Facebook post.
Under City Ordinance No. SP-2942, violators will be penalized with fines of PHP1,000, PHP3,000 and PHP5,000 for the first, second and third offense, respectively. (PNA)