This year, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF) Philippines' “It’s all about Freedom” campaign once again pedalled its way to an activity that encouraged the wider public to take a proactive role on the discussion of freedom, this time, highlighting innovation through the development of new forms of urban mobility and citizen engagement.
Developing a smart city involves the use of technology and modern designs to improve mobility, urban planning and citizen participation. With many cities facing exponential growth in terms of population and technology-usage, challenges such as environmental management and traffic congestion should be addressed. Nonetheless, there are also opportunities that can be tapped in these fast-paced times. Modern mobility, innovative disruption, business promotion and civic engagement are the bright spots that FNF Philippines would like to seize. Together with empowered citizenry and proactive governments, policy reforms and initiatives to develop smart cities will be more effective and sustainable.
Together with the Office of the Vice President of the Philippines, the Naga City Local Government, and the and Kaya Natin! Movement for Good Governance and Ethical Leadership, FNF Philippines organized the Freedom Cycle on 19 August in Naga City. This activity hopes to support Naga City and other local governments around the Philippines that are on their way to becoming smart cities. This is the 2nd cycling event that FNF Philippines organized - aiming to recognize local governments that promote citizens engagement, innovative policies and climate change governance.
"Freedom Cycle is a vehicle for Filipinos to initiate, sustain and scale up efforts that inspire effective, honest and innovative leadership. It is one way to raise awareness and gather like-minded individuals who can be partners for positive change," expressed FNF Philippines Country Director Wolfgang Heinze.
In approximately 20 km route, cyclists assembled and participated in a program that took place in Naga City Hall Grounds, before proceeding to the race. This event also celebrated Naga City’s iconic leader, the late Secretary of Interior and Local Government, and their very own Mayor, Jesse Robredo, on his 5th death anniversary. The event served as a commemoration of his leadership that was uniquely characterized by his yearning for innovation and for people empowerment.
"We would like to keep Sec. Jesse's legacy of innovation alive in Naga City. We have policies lined up such as the Naga Bicycle Ordinance, which we are pushing for to provide alternative mode of transportation that is eco-friendly, economical and safe for Nagueños," says Councilor Ray-an Rentoy.
This event highlighted Naga City as a trailblazer for innovation in local governance. Some of its known best practices in local governance are in the areas of E-governance, transportation and mobility, and climate change resiliency that led to the city’s improved finances, transparency in administrative work, and efficient delivery of services on an environment friendly manner to the Nagueños.
The Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, a German non-profit organization, has been in the Philippines since 1986, a year of crucial importance in the democratic history of this nation. Together with its partners, it has been working to promote good governance, human rights, rule of law, economic freedom and environmental governance.
For more details and updates about FNF Philippines, please visit their website, www.philippines.fnst.org and FNF Philippines' social media pages: FNF Philippines: It’s All About Freedom (Facebook) and FNFPhilippines (twitter and instagram).