Mayor sees need for office, staff for P10.6-B BRT project

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Monday, August 25, 2014


CEBU City Mayor Michael Rama wants to create an office that will focus on the implementation of the P10.6-billion Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) in the city.

It will be headed, he said, by lawyer Rafael Yap, executive director of the Cebu City Traffic Operations Management (Citom).

In a news conference yesterday, the mayor stressed the need for an office for the BRT project.

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The project seeks to establish a BRT system on 16 kilometers of road from Barangay Bulacao to Barangay Talamban. Its implementation will affect 9.3 hectares of private and public lands, which will be needed for bus stops, stations and terminals.

“What is needed for the BRT is focus, structure and competent people. Dako kaayo ning BRT (It’s a major project). It is not a joke. It is something that has to be professionally handled,” Rama said.

Replacement

He said he chose Yap to head the BRT office because of his “heart, intelligence and technical understanding” of the project.

On who will replace Yap at Citom once he will be appointed as head of the BRT office, the mayor said there are other competent people, such as Joy Tumulak. Tumulak is currently Citom's operations division head.

Rama did not disclose when the BRT office will be formed or when he will appoint Yap.

Yap declined to comment on the issue as he has not yet received any memorandum from the mayor.

Based on the memorandum of agreement that the City signed with the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) last month, the City will handle the social impact management of the project, particularly in the conduct of consultations with the affected stakeholders. DOTC will lead the implementation of the BRT project.

As for the estimated 2,000 trees that will be affected by the project, Rama only said that the city needs more development.

“The trees should be considered. But development is needed also so more lives would be served,” he said.

The BRT project in the city is targeted to be implemented next year. The buses are expected to run in 2017.

The BRT project will be funded by the Agence Francaise de Developpement and the World Bank through the Clean Technology Fund.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 26, 2014.

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