SM Cares together with the local government of Pasay City kicked off the National Bike Weekend and the Foundation Week of the City last November 26 at SM By the Bay in the Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City.
Hundreds of cyclists joined “Padyak Pasay: Moving Together Towards One Eco City,” a fun bike ride around the Mall of Asia Complex as part of the festivities. The bike ride celebrated Pasay as an eco-city, as the local government endeavors to make environmental awareness a driving force to achieve greater growth and development for the city. Pasay City Mayor Hon. Emi Calixto-Rubiano opened the bike ride, together with City Councilors and representatives of SM Prime Holdings, Inc., SM Supermalls, the Department of Transportation (DOTr), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and bike organizations such as BeeSeekleta For Every Juan.
428 cyclists across Pasay City residents and partner organizations joined the bike ride which started and ended at SM by the BAY.
SM Cares is the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of SM Supermalls, with programs that support communities, promote social inclusion, and care for the environment. Aside from the creation of bike-friendly SM Malls, its advocacies include Programs for the Environment, Persons with Disabilities, Women & Breastfeeding Mothers, Children & Youth, and Senior Citizens.
Meanwhile, SM Cares also held a Bike Safety Clinic especially designed for Kids. Thirty children from Pasay together with their parents were educated about the meaning of various road Signages, hand signals, and were also instructed on how to properly wear safety equipment. The children received their personal helmets, elbow and knee pads from SM Cares to encourage them to have a lifelong affinity for biking. This event was supported by DOTr, Decathlon Philippines, MX3, Beesekleta for Every Juan and Tropang Women Bikers.
“We have been advocating road safety for our cyclists by partnering with the Department of Transportation and bicycle organizations to provide safety manuals and training. From adult cyclists and delivery riders, we are teaching our children to become responsible cyclists, too” Dizon-Rodulfo said.
SM PadyaKabuhayan bicycle carts were granted to 4Ps beneficiaries, including technical business training and bike safety tips for vendors.
The event also saw the launch of SM PadyaKabuhayan, a program that promotes sustainable livelihood through sustainable mobility. The program provides a means of earning for families in need, many of them beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps. It also expands the benefits of bikes, from being more than an environmentally-friendly form of transportation to a sustainable source of income. Beneficiaries of the program received bicycle food carts, comprehensive training on handling a business and road safety tips for bicycle vendors. The program was undertaken in partnership with Pasay City’s Social Welfare Department, Kalye Negosyo, and DTI.
“SM Cares believes in working together with a multi-stakeholder approach for our programs. We have always been about supporting communities, and we believe that social inclusion is vital in creating lasting change. Through this, we hope to help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals ‘SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities,’ which underscores the importance of making cities and settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable,” said Dizon-Rodulfo.
National Bike Day, which is celebrated every fourth Sunday of November, is celebrated in line with Proclamation No. 1052–which was signed by former President Rodrigo Duterte in 2020–with the aim to promote the environmental benefits of using bicycles.