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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Cebu City mayor says presidential assistant might push to shelve BRT project

THE P10.6-billion Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project will proceed even if some people might try to stop its implementation.

Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña said there’s a possibility that the project will be put on hold, considering that Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Lloyd Dino has proposed a P170-million comprehensive study on the transport system for Cebu.

“You know what will come up next? I suspect they will stop the BRT because they will come up with their own study. It (study) might include an LRT (light rail transit),” Osmeña told reporters.

Complementary

BRT Cebu project head Atty. Rafael Christopher Yap echoed the mayor’s sentiment, saying the project will go on because it’s due for implementation.

According to the Department of Transportation (DOTr), he said, both the BRT and LRT can be established together.

Last August, Dino said the proposed rail system for Cebu will complement the BRT project.

His statement came after President Rodrigo Duterte announced during his State of the Nation Address that Cebu would get a rail system as its share of projects from the national government.

Even the road map study of the Japan International Cooperation Agency included the BRT in its short-term activities to be done to address the concerns on mass transport, Yap said.

Yap said they’re preparing to procure some parts for the construction and will begin to process road right-of-way acquisition in November.

“Political agenda”

In his news conference yesterday, Osmeña also questioned the P170-million Metro Cebu Transportation Plan that Dino proposed.

The presidential assistant made the proposal during the House of Representative’s Committee on Transportation hearing on Cebu’s traffic situation last Saturday.
Osmeña said Dino should present all the details of the study and specify how the amount will be spent.

“When you want to do a study, you have to make a proposal and you got to answer too many questions,” he said.

For Osmeña, Dino’s move is “grandstanding.”

“Be careful that people like Dino is just using this as political agenda or to promote something else. To me Dino is just a political animal. His family has been involved in anomalies with the City Government,” the mayor said.

Sun.Star Cebu tried to get the side of Dino, but he was out of the country.
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