CEBU

Gullas sees 'Ceboom' repeat

REP. Eduardo Gullas (Cebu, 1st district) sees another era of “Ceboom” as there are three infrastructure projects worth P182 billion lined up for the province.

These are the P80-billion fourth Cebu-Mactan Bridge and coastal road construction project, P28-billion Metro Cebu Expressway project and the P74-billion Metro Cebu Monorail Transit System project.

Gullas is privy to the projects as he is a member of the House committee on appropriations.

Ceboom in 1990s

During the governorship of Emilio Osmeña Jr. from 1988 to 1992, Cebu saw an economic growth outpacing that of the country.

Some of the factors that led to such progress were the province’s fast recovery from the destruction brought about by typhoon Ruping in November 1990; the provincial government’s sale of its properties that later became the locations of Cebu Business Park and I.T. Park; and the construction of the Transcentral Highway that connects Cebu City to the town of Balamban, allowing tourism and other businesses to flourish.

The progress during Osmeña’s time was later known as “Ceboom.”

Economic boost

Gullas said the three infrastructure projects will bring economic fortune to Cebu. The legislator is a veteran politician who also served as Cebu governor during the dictatorship of President Ferdinand Marcos.

“There’s no question the three projects combined will enhance accessibility, facilitate trade, improve mobility, generate greater employment opportunities and boost Cebu’s overall economic productivity,” he said.

Gullas further said: “Initially, we expect that the construction activities associated with the projects will create new demand for goods and services that will in turn have a positive multiplier effect on Cebu’s economy.”

Construction activities tend to benefit low-income households the most and help ease poverty, Gullas pointed out.

“Over time, once the projects are completed, Cebu’s economy should be firing on all cylinders,” Gullas said.

Gullas said the fourth bridge “is already a go with everything in place,” including Japan’s official development assistance loan for the project.

“The 74-kilometer expressway from Naga City to Danao City is also a go already but has been held back temporarily by unsolicited offers from two private investors for them to undertake the project,” Gullas said.

Originally meant to be built by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Gullas said, the expressway could end up as a public-private partnership project if the National Government decides to allow a private entity to come in.

As to the unsolicited offer made by Udenna Corp. to build a 27-kilometer, 20-station elevated monorail, Gullas said he is counting on the National Government to decide on the proposal before the year ends.

The Department of Transportation endorsed Udenna’s offer to the National Economic Development Authority only in January.

“Metro Cebu desperately needs an overhead commuter train to efficiently move people around and decongest our roads,” Gullas said.

DPWH projects

Meanwhile, the DPWH is set to turn over the P294 million worth of isolation, quarantine and dormitory facilities for Covid-19 patients and medical frontliners either on Oct. 16 or Oct. 17.

A total of 11 facilities will be turned over to the local government units. Members of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases and local officials will attend the turnover ceremony.

DPWH 7 Maintenance Division chief Faustino dela Cruz Jr. said the facilities were already complete; they only fixed some minor defects, including the power line and water connections.

Dela Cruz said quality inspections have been regularly conducted to make sure that necessary corrections will be made prior the facilities’ use. (KAL from PR, WBS)


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