THE Regional Development Council in Central Visayas (RDC 7) has recommended increasing the costs of two already approved big-ticket infrastructure projects in Metro Cebu.

National Economic Development Authority (Neda) Central Visayas director and RDC vice chairperson Efren Carreon said these projects are the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and New Cebu International Container Port (NCICP).

Currently, the 23-kilometer Cebu BRT has a project cost of US$198 million, which is funded by the French government, through Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and the World Bank.

The bus system, whose initial construction already started, stretches from Barangay Bulacao in the south to Talamban in the north. Phase 1 of the project is composed of three packages. Package 1 will be comprised of four bus stations from the Cebu South Bus Terminal (CSBT) to the Capitol area, stretching along Osmeña Boulevard.

Meanwhile, Packages 2 and 3 involve the establishment of trunk services from the South Road Properties (SRP) to CSBT via the Natalio Bacalso Avenue, and from Capitol to IT Park.

Moreover, the NCIC is a 25-hectare reclaimed land project in municipality of Consolacion, Cebu with an estimated cost of P10.1 billion.

It aims to build a bridge, access road, and harbor facilities on the reclaimed land that free up the existing seaport in the province and continue the flow of goods and services in the Visayas.

RDC 7 also recommended to the NEDA Board-Investment Coordination Committee to fast track the approval of other major projects such as Metro Cebu Expressway; unsolicited proposal for operations, maintenance, and expansion of the Bohol-Panglao International Airport; sustainable, inclusive, and resilient tourism projects; and solar-powered fertigation project.

The council also pushed for the implementation New Dumaguete Airport Development Project; Tagbiliran-Panglao Bohol Offshore Bridge Connector; fourth Cebu bridge and coastal road projects; and Metro Cebu flood control projects; and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council’s approval for the Typhoon Odette Rehabilitation and Recovery Program and funding support.