Iloilo City will be working closely with the government of the Netherlands to develop the city’s cycling infrastructure. The European country expressed willingness to bring in consultants to help with urban planning, with the aim of making the city more sustainable.
The government of the Netherlands expressed confidence regarding loilo City’s potential in terms of sustainable urban planning. This was revealed by Kevin C.D.G Punzalan, the Senior Policy Officer at the Economic and Public Affairs of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Philippines.
“We will bring here the Dutch Cycling Embassy, a public-private in the Netherlands composed of the government of the Netherlands and private consultants,” explains Punzalan in a statement, to help in the city’s urban planning with the focus on promoting cycling.
First foray into Southeast Asia
Punzalan adds that the Netherlands saw Iloilo as one of the top candidates to work with.
“The Philippines will be the first Southeast Asian country to be the location of the bike workshop and we are very proud to bring them here,” explains Punzalan.
In relation to this, a workshop entitled “Think Bike Workshop” will be held from October 7-8. This aims to promote cycling culture, reduce traffic jams, and fight against climate change. Around 25 participants from the tourism and planning offices of the local government and transport sectors are expected to participate.
City Tourism Officer Junel Ann Divinagracia mentions that the workshop, “will be a public-private partnership of different organizations and companies as it will enable Iloilo to be an urban cycling community.”
The workshop will include bike tours aiming to showcase the best practices of Iloilo City, and to exchange ideas to identify what needs improvement. The output will be presented to the Mayor of Iloilo City and the Dutch delegates.
Punzalan adds that the Netherlands will be happy to support the city in the implementation for these project.
“As the city grows and becomes sustainable, more Dutch businesses would like to see Iloilo as the location of their operations or place where they can visit. So the more we highlight Iloilo as a whole, the more the Netherlands and the Dutch people will be aware of it.” said Punzalan in an interview.
This initiative goes beyond the bike’s wheels and metal gears, to bridge different nationalities together towards creating more sustainable cities.