MANDAUE City Mayor Gabriel Luis Quisumbing met with officials of a Chinese corporation to discuss a possible mass transit system in the city last Sunday.
China Railways Corp. (CRC), which is among the top 100 companies in the Forbes 500 list, expressed interest to Quisumbing for a possible public-private partnership (PPP) for a mass transport system in Mandaue City.
Technical experts of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum recommended to reduce the use of motor vehicles to lessen carbon dioxide emissions.
During their meeting at the City Session Hall, officials of the City Government and CRC exchanged information about the City and the projects that they have done.
Quisumbing said they shared an overview of the city and its challenges, such as traffic congestion, with the Chinese officials.
The city officials also presented Mandaue’s comprehensive land use plan and the mass transport study made by the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
“They are responsible for the 40 percent of the railway system in the entire China. They are responsible for over 50 percent of urban railways, which are subways. And then they are starting to conduct international projects,” Quisumbing said.
CRC is working on the proposed Thailand to China railway and Laos to China railway, said the mayor.
The company was also the one that reclaimed Palm Island, the famous resort in the United Arab Emirates.
CRC requested some information and documents from the city, which will be the company’s basis to pursue plans and a study in Mandaue City.
Once they are interested to have a study, Quisumbing said they will seek approval of the National Economic and Development Authority.
However, the mayor admitted that Mandaue City is not capable of a PPP, that is why funding from the National Government is needed.
“One thing that is very nice is that, recently, the Chinese government has announced that it is putting something like US$3 billion worth of projects available as loan to the Philippines. And given how important Cebu and especially Mandaue, is to the country being the center of the entire Metro Cebu, we hope that this will be considered for access to funding from the national government for this project,” said Quisumbing.
The mayor highlighted that any development in Metro Cebu will have to start in Mandaue City because one cannot get to Cebu City, northern and southern Cebu “if traffic congestion is bad.”
“So the first and most logical place to start with if you are talking about decongestion of traffic is really in Mandaue City,” he said.
After the holidays, one of CRC’s engineering team will come to Mandaue.
Last Friday, technical experts of APEC’s Asia-Pacific Energy Research Center recommended the reduction of jeepneys and tricycles because they are the largest contributors of carbon emissions, by having a public transit systems, including bus, light rail, bus rapid transit and electronic vehicles.
This is based on their study on the city’s transportation in relation to the APEC’s Low Carbon Model Towns project.
Quisumbing said the recommendation of APEC for mass transit was to reduce carbon emissions from old PUJs and tricycles.
“APEC’s recommendation is similar to this, but not the same because kining sa China Railways, their proposal has to do more with mass transit and traffic decongestion rather than environmental,” the mayor added.