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Padyak gathers over 300 bikers for Marikina Watershed rehab

By Abigail Mercado

The trickling of a few men and women bikers in their tight cycling shorts, sturdy bikes and protective helmets grew to over two hundred by the time the “Padyak para sa Marikina Watershed” kicked off from the Quezon Memorial Circle last Oct 23, around 7:30 in the morning, following a brief opening ceremony.

Padyak gathers over 300 bikers Picture 1

Padyak para sa Marikina Watershed is part of PRRM’s pre-60th anniversary activities. This bike caravan was made possible in partnership with The Firefly Brigade and the local governments of Quezon City and Marikina City.

Padyak gathers over 300 bikers Picture 2

The awarding of 10 bicycles to the most active barangays in the QC government’s Climate and Disaster Risk Reduction program gathered loud cheers from the crowd, and was topped only by the ceremonial ‘potpot’ that marked the start of the bike caravan. Ramon Carlo Ramoy of the Office of the Chief of Staff said that QC Mayor Herbert Bautista sponsored these bicycles for information sharing in the communities while promoting cleaner air.

Padyak gathers over 300 bikers Picture 3

Together with the local governments surrounding the Marikina Watershed, we are calling for reforestation efforts," says PRRM President Isagani Serrano during an interview with the GMA NewsTV.

After touring the QC leg, the biking environmental advocates were welcomed by more than a hundred Marikina bikers at the symbolic Nanay Ude monument in the River Park before finishing off the bike caravan with the Marikina leg of the tour.

Padyak gathers over 300 bikers Picture 4

The closing ceremony in Brgy. Kalumpang of Marikina City was graced by Marikina Vice Mayor Dr. Jose Cadiz who recounted the impact of Ondoy in their city and how the Marikina Watershed, if properly maintained, will prevent future calamities.

The closing ceremony in Brgy. Kalumpang of Marikina City was graced by the Marikina Vice Mayor Dr. Jose Cadiz, Councilor Joseph Banzon and Kalumpang Barangay Chair Renato De Guzman, who welcomed the finishers of the bike caravan with some snacks, and lauded the call of the advocacy event. All the officials recounted the impact of Ondoy in their city and how the Marikina Watershed, if properly maintained, will prevent future calamities.

The Bikeways Office of Marikina, headed by Carlota Contreras, also presented the LGU’s bike program, including its bike loan scheme for interested applicants. According to Arch. Willie Reyes of the Office of the Mayor and member of the Technical Management Group of the Marikina Watershed Project, bicycles will also be awarded to deserving barangays in the coming months as part of Marikina’s commitment to promoting bikes as part of disaster management toolkit.

For the Padyak event, PRRM partnerned with The Firefly Brigade which organizes critical mass rides to promote visibility on the road for cyclists and road sharing, as well as for various advocacy campaigns in partnership with other NGOs. Firefly Brigade Project Coordinator Mia Bunao also talked about the series of biking activities in the coming months, including a film festival featuring documentaries on biking.

A PRRM@60 pre-anniversary event

In an interview with the GMA NewsTV, PRRM President Isagani Serrano reiterated the importance of protecting the watersheds in preventing another Ondoy. “Together with the local governments surrounding the Marikina Watershed, we are calling for reforestation efforts.” Donation boxes were also passed on during the event to collect contributions that will buy tree seedlings for the Watershed.

Padyak para sa Marikina Watershed is part of the PRRM’s pre-60th anniversary activities. For almost 60 years, PRRM has worked all over the Philippines in helping build sustainable communities. PRRM’s major programs include sustainable agriculture, upland resources management, coastal resources management, sustainable livelihood, climate and disaster risk reduction and participation in good governance.

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