Osmeña accuses Pernia of abuse of authority

CEBU City Mayor Tomas Osmeña plans to file an administrative case against National Economic Development Authority (Neda) Secretary Ernesto Pernia after his recent pronouncement on the implementation of the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project.

In his news conference yesterday, Osmeña said that what Pernia said constituted abuse of authority.

Pernia, for his part, has yet to issue his side on the matter.

During his visit in Cebu last week, the secretary initially said the BRT project would proceed unless there was an intervention from Malacañang.

But later that day, Pernia issued another statement, saying the implementation of the project may have to wait since there a feasibility study on a subway and light rail project (LRT) project for Metro Cebu, which is about to be completed.

It was Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Lloyd Dino who informed Pernia about the matter.

However, Pernia, in an earlier report, clarified that it would not be his unilateral decision to put the BRT project on hold in favor of another mode of mass transport.

Osmeña said the BRT project will be submitted to bidding, while construction will start next year.

The BRT had a project cost of P10.6 billion when it was approved by the Neda Board in 2014 under the Benigno Aquino III administration.

The amount went up to P16.9 billion because of the road right-of-way acquisition (RROW) cost.

However, Osmeña clarified that the increase, which was justified by the Department of Transportation (DOTr), the implementing agency, to Neda, is due to the new policy on RROW acquisition that bases payment on market value instead of zonal evaluation.  
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