A MAJOR Taiwan bicycle manufacturer has expressed interest in establishing production in the Philippines to support the expected surge in bike riding due to limited transport options after the lockdown.

Board of Investments (BoI) Managing Head Ceferino S. Rodolfo said in an online news conference on June 11 that the government is looking to attract more bicycle manufacturing production and to reposition bicycle exporters for the domestic market, in expectation that demand will increase.

Titingnan mo Pilipinas, siguro may mga… informal na mga bicycle manufacturers, pero meron tayo ditong mga exporters… pwede tayong… market repositioning more towards the domestic. (Looking at the Philippines, we have informal bicycle manufacturers but we also have exporters… we can reposition them to the domestic market),” he said.

He said the BoI is studying domestic demand to determine if domestic production by the major Taiwan manufacturer, which it did not identify, is feasible.

“It continues to be a good lead…. But ito titingnan din natin ‘yung demand ngayon, ano mangyayari kung pwede na natin makuha (we will also look at the demand and what is happening to see if we can get them to invest).

BoI is in continued talks with the company, which Mr. Rodolfo said is “interested.”

The Senate has set aside funds for biking and walking infrastructure in Senate Bill No. 1566 or the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act. This is part of P17-billion funding for the Department of Transportation’s plans to address the effects of the pandemic, including assistance for the transportation industry and its workers.

Bikers United Marshals has criticized the government for delays in implementing bicycle-friendly infrastructure. Metro Manila commuters have turned to biking as an alternative amid transportation restrictions during the lockdown.

Another transport group, Alt Mobility Philippines, had proposed a P10-billion walking and biking infrastructure plan in response to the pandemic. — Jenina P. Ibañez