CITING how crucial connectivity is to drive growth in the Visayas, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) vowed to lobby for the adoption of a Monorail Transit (MRT) system in Cebu.
“We will try to influence the Department of Transportation that they have to look into a subway or MRT for Cebu City,” said PCCI president George Barcelon during the Visayas Area Business Conference.
He emphasized that as the government goes ahead with its Build, Build, Build infrastructure program, it would greatly benefit the archipelagic region.
Last week, proponents of the Cebu MRT system said they are set to complete their feasibility studies in the cities of Cebu and Mandaue by November.
The feasibility study alone will cost $2 million and is funded by the One Belt, One Road Program.
PhilTram Transportation Consortium Corp. public relations officer Cerwin Eviota earlier said that since June, PhilTram has been analyzing the present distribution of passengers, possible fares, preliminary design and related cost estimates, among others.
Two weeks ago, the PhilTram Transportation Consortium Corp. and China Railway Engineering Consulting Group, Co. Ltd. (CEC) sealed a memorandum of cooperation to pursue multi-billion monorail projects in Metro Cebu and other sites in the country.
Both the Manila-based firm and Beijing-based company agreed to prioritize the planned 12-kilometer monorail line in Cebu from Mandaue City to the South Road Properties (SRP) in Cebu City.
“The Visayas region is already in a good position to capture investments that are expected to come following government’s massive infrastructure programs and promotion,” said the PCCI chief.
Eastern Visayas grew by 12.4 percent last year, followed by Central Visayas at 8.8 percent and Western Visayas at 6.5 percent.
According to Barcelon, these growth figures show signs that the Visayas is ready to take on the challenge of industrializing the region, spurring its tourism potential and fostering the growth of services and manufacturing sectors.
But to realize this, the PCCI official said Visayas has to improve its connectivity to ensure a seamless flow of trade, goods and people.
“Connectivity in any of all forms—infrastructure, people, idea—this region will be more than able to move forward to sustain the economy and maximize its resources efficiently,” said Barcelon.
“Imagine what interconnected island could do to fast track development, reduce poverty and share opportunities to people and business across the region,” he added.