Firm proposes 4 bus stations-A A +A
Monday, October 7, 2013
TO COMPLEMENT the bus routes they are proposing, SM Prime Holdings Inc. wants the Cebu City Government to install four bus stations outside the South Road Properties (SRP) while the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project has not yet taken off.
In a letter to City Councilor Nestor Archival, SM’s mall manager Sherry Tuvilla is proposing that the bus stations be placed at the back of the Senior Citizens’ Park to serve as the downtown station, C. Padilla St. and N. Bacalso Ave. that will serve as the Mambaling station, SM City Cebu, and at the North Bus Terminal (NBT). Archival is the head of the City Council’s committee on energy, transportation and utilities.
Except for the Mambaling station, Tuvilla said the basis of their proposal to put up bus stations outside the SRP is the Cebu SRP Transport Strategy Final Report made by the Integrated Transport Planning Ltd.
The establishment of a station in Mambaling, she said, was based on the recommendation and survey made by SM, the City Traffic Operations Management, City Planning Development Office and the SRP Management Office.
Since the BRT project for the city has not yet been approved by the National Economic Development Authority, Tuvilla wants the City to already evaluate the location of the proposed bus stations.
The bus stations are needed for the two bus routes that SM is proposing to serve SRP in anticipation of the opening of its mall soon. That, prior also to the
implementation of the BRT system in the area.
The bus routes will ply Talisay-SRP-Mambaling-SRP-Talisay and Talisay-SRP-Mambaling-SRP-Downtown-SM-NBT and back.
Tuvilla said the proposed bus routes have already been endorsed to the Department of Transportation and Communication for review.
Meanwhile, former congressman and mayor Tomas Osmeña is not convinced that the SM Prime Holdings Inc. paid in advance so that it will be freed from paying the interest rate.
Osmeña said he was behind the contract with SM so he knows that the interest is only four percent.
“To SM that’s nothing. SM and FLI (Filinvest Land Inc.) have low interest rates,” said Osmeña on the two of the first three locators of the South Road Properties (SRP) including the lease from Bigfoot.
Osmeña is the brainchild behind the SRP, but Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama kept reminding his predecessor that he does not own the SRP.
Osmeña believes that the Cebu City Government asked for the advance payment because they are low on funds.
But the executive maintains that SM wanted to pay in advance so it would not have to pay the interest if the company pays for it next year when it is due.
The payment was P277 million.
“They touched the money and I can prove it because it was gone the next day,” said Osmeña.
He was referring to the record of the City Treasurer’s Office that the money made it into the City’s coffers, but was immediately transferred as payment to the SRP loan.
While Osmeña is no longer in office, he had been critical of the Rama administration, especially when it pertains to fiscal management.
He and his allies believe that the City Government is low on funds while Rama and his allies continue to deny this even when it took the executive months before it can submit the second supplemental budget when the City badly needed funds for fuel and for garbage disposal.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 08, 2013.