By: Emme Rose Santiagudo
THE Netherlands sees the huge potential of Iloilo City in terms of sustainable urban planning.
In line with this, the government of Netherlands will partner with the city government to strengthen its urban planning particularly in putting up infrastructure dedicated to cycling.
Kevin Punzalan, senior policy officer at the Economic and Public Affairs of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Philippines, said they will bring to Iloilo City the Dutch Cycling Embassy, a public-private partnership of the government of Netherlands and private consultants on urban planning and cycling in Asia.
“This is significant because the Dutch Cycling Embassy only operated before in Asia, which is in Japan. 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,” Punzalan said.
Punzalan said Iloilo has been in the front lines of developing infrastructures in cycling.
“Ang Iloilo ay isang magandang halimbawa ng sustainable urban planning dito sa Pilipinas nakita rin namin na ang Iloilo ay isa sa mga pinakamaunlad na lungsod pagdating sa paggawa ng infrastructures para sa cycling. Gusto naming tulungan ang Iloilo para lalo pang umusad at umunlad ang ito pagdating sa paggawa ng infrastructure para sa cycling,” he told the reporters on Tuesday.
On Oct 7-8, 2019, Punzalan said they will organize a “Think Bike Workshop” which will involve stakeholders from the tourism and planning offices of the local government, transport sector, and cycling civic society organizations.
During the workshop, participants will conduct a bike tour in Iloilo City to see its best practices and evaluate how to further improve it, Punzalan added.
At the end of the two-day workshop, an output of the participants will be presented to Mayor Jerry P. Treñas and the Dutch representatives on October 9, 2019.
“We hope that Iloilo province and city will take up the plan and begin to implement it and the Netherlands will be happy to support the implementation,” Punzalan said.
According to Punzalan, the conduct of the workshop is part of the launching of the Cine-Europa Film Festival organized by the European Union in the Philippines.
For the first time, the Netherlands will also host the premiere of comedy film “The Marathon” to be shown at SM City Iloilo.