July 25, 2024

Baguio City’s support and commitment to promote and adopt low carbon urban transport solutions towards sustainability through the country’s Low Carbon Urban Transport Systems (LCT) Project was cited as the project drew to close last Nov. 16.

The city received the citation along with its LCT Project fellow pilot cities Iloilo, Pasig, and Sta. Rosa during the project’s culminating program held last Nov. 14 in Metro Manila.

City Planning, Development, and Sustainability Office (CPDSO) Coordinator, Arch. Donna Tabangin; City Engineering Office Traffic and Transportation Management Division (TTMD) heads, Engrs. John Borillo and Thea Camiring; and City Environment and Parks Management Office Environmental Management Division Officer-in-Charge, Engr. Sofronio Pascua received the award on behalf of the city.

The other point persons from the city government who worked on the project are Engr. Rodrigo Samuel R. Martinez of the TTMD and Archs. Juanito Pasiliao Jr. and Steven Bruce Layugan of the CPDSO.

Before the gala night, a series of activities were conducted by the project implementers Department of Transportation, the United Nations Development Programme and the Global Environment Facility which engaged stakeholders representing the partner local government units, national government agencies, civil society organizations, and the academe “to mark the successes and contributions of the project to the national and local vision.”

Among the activities was a workshop on the lessons learned and sustainability planning which enabled the pilot cities to “strategize ways to sustain and further efforts and to discuss possible partnerships.”

The LGUs were able to develop a short-term sustainability action plan for three years that spells out the strategies, programs, and policies to sustain low carbon transport initiatives and ensure the program’s long-term relevance, impact and quality based on the re-entry action plans developed by each pilot city and the existing local and national plans.

The project began in 2019 and aimed “to create an enabling environment for the commercialization of low-carbon urban transport systems and provide policy support to four pilot cities in the Philippines, namely Baguio, Iloilo, Pasig, and Sta. Rosa and develop their institutional capacity and increase private sector participation and investment.”

As a result of the program, pilot cities support their sustainable transport systems initiatives.

Recently, Baguio received electric vehicles and transport-related equipment as part of the LCT Project’s Electric Vehicle Incentive Programme which aims “to provide a model for electric vehicle transition and aims to address major bottlenecks in shifting to electric vehicles in public transport, including the cost of shifting and policy and regulatory reforms.”

One electric vehicle was awarded to the Irisan Jeepney Operators and Drivers’ Association Transport Cooperative, the first one to be deployed to navigate the unique terrains of the city.

The city government also received Information Communications Technology equipment and traffic counters to strengthen its capacity to plan and manage sustainable transportation and traffic management while the Dalan ni Taltallak Consortium of Universities for Low Carbon Transportation Research and Innovation established under the LCT Project and consisting of St. Louis University, University of Baguio, and University of the Cordilleras also received software and equipment that will boost their research and innovation along low carbon transport.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong thanked the project implementers saying the LCT project give the city’s sustainability agenda a big push.

“A lot of things are really happening because we can no longer afford to go back to a situation wherein Baguio was classified as having the third worst air quality in the Philippines. These are all very strategic and catalytic so that it will have a huge impact on our environment,” he said. – Aileen P. Refuerzo