Rama pursues electricity-run transpo-A A +A
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
CEBU City Mayor Michael Rama is seriously considering the environment-friendly mass transport system launched by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) early this year.
The system is called the Automated Guideway Transit (AGT), which is powered by electricity.
Rama said from the start, President Benigno Aquino III was not keen on the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) system as the latter was more for the Light Rail Transit (LRT) or the Metro Rail Transit (MRT).
The BRT was not approved by the National Economic Development Authority (Neda) Board twice.
Rama was in Manila last week and was supposed to talk to Transportation and Communication Sec. Joseph Emilio Abaya about the status of the BRT but was unavailable.
“It’s not because I’m thinking about (AGT) but it’s because of the not so certain position of the National Government on the BRT,” said Rama.
The AGT prototype made a demonstration run at the University of the Philippines Diliman (UPD) last April.
Rama said this could be made available before the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in 2015.
On another transport issue, Rama met Department of Tourism (DOT) Sec. Ramon Jimenez to share the concern of operators in Cebu.
This was about the new DOTC guidelines wherein only travel operators with new tourist buses and coasters can be issued franchises.
The Cebu Association of Tour Operators has appealed before the DOTC to repeal the new guidelines.
Rama said Jimenez was receptive to have this reconsidered.
Since he was already there, Rama also raised that there is still a balance from the P15 million-improvement of Plaza Sugbo.
Rama believes there is still P2 to 3 million from the budget.
The budget was with the Philippine Tourism Authority and Rama was told to just send a project proposal on how to use the balance.
Offhand, Rama wants improvements to the Freedom Park and Warwicks Barracks in Carbon.
The amount is too little for the rebuilding of the Carbon Public Market, which was the very first project that Rama asked from President Aquino during the mayor’s first term.
The President, though, advised Rama to just pursue the project through foreign loan.
Rama thought the balance could also be used to improve Fort San Pedro, a popular tourist destination in Cebu City.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 03, 2013.