Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Cebu loses P1.1 billion a day to traffic

TRAFFIC has been tagged as a major concern when it comes to tourism in Cebu.

Participants in the Cebu Tourism Summit and Travel Fair 2018 said the issue on traffic will become more pressing as more tourists are expected in Cebu with the opening of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) Terminal 2.

Based on a Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) study, Metro Cebu suffers an economic loss of about P1.1 billion a day because of traffic.

The Cebu Provincial Management Office urged local government units to strictly enforce local traffic laws and ordinances to attract more tourists in the towns.

Provincial Management Office focal person Jonathan Tumulak said that they are creating the Inter-Agency Council on Traffic (I-ACT) to make laws and ordinances uniform in all towns in Cebu.

“There are now trainings in Talisay City, Minglanilla, City of Naga and San Fernando on how to implement their traffic ordinances. Once we have uniform traffic ordinances, the motorists will no longer have a difficult time driving from one town to another,” Tumulak said.

Tumulak said that based on the records of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) 7, the number of registered vehicles in the region increased from 554,472 in 2016 to 598,668 in 2017.

“One of the causes is the low down payment and the monthly payment scheme. It’s now easy to buy a car. People have big salaries and the monthly installment is small,” he said.

He said other contributing factors are the lack of coordination among local government units (LGUs) and the lack of advance planning, considering the fast economic growth of Cebu.

Minglanilla, for example, has 83 subdivisions. And each house owner in those subdivisions owns a car, Tumulak said.

Tumulak said they are coordinating with the LGUs of Metro Cebu, especially during fiestas and other celebrations, to warn the public about road closures and rerouting.

He also pushed for a stricter enforcement of traffic laws.

Neil Kirkpatrick and Eva Lowela Moraca, who own hotels in Oslob, Cebu, lamented the hours it takes to travel from the Mactan airport to the tourist destinations in Cebu.

They said there’s a need to create innovations on public bus transport to reduce carbon emission and minimize road accidents.

“You have a huge number of mini-buses from Cebu City to Oslob. So why don’t we take (the passengers) to one place where they can take a bigger bus to reduce greenhouse gas emission?” Kirkpatrick said. (JOB)


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