SEVERAL businesses have seen a decrease in sales after the construction of Package 1 of the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) in Cebu City began late last month.

Maryann Lorejas, 49, a cashier at a homegrown bakery along Osmeña Boulevard, said fewer customers visit their shop these days.

“Some of our customers can no longer come to the bakeshop because of the heavy traffic in the area. They also cannot park in front because of the construction,” Lorejas said in Cebuano Saturday, March 11, 2023.

She said the construction of the BRT facilities had made their shop less accessible to the public.

She said they are marking down the prices of their cakes and pastries, especially those that are nearing their expiry, in order to sell their products.

She said their sales in the past days have been comparable to their sales at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Dili na gyud parehas sa una. Mura mi og gapandemic diri dapita. Mingaw man,” she added. (Our sales are low. It’s like the height of the pandemic all over again.)

It is not only the established brands that are affected by the ongoing installation of the transit project. It has also taken its toll on small businesses in the area.

Editha Estrella, who has been selling fruits in the area for three decades, told SunStar Cebu that her income from her small business has dwindled.

She said since some portions of the road have been fenced off to pave the way for the construction of the BRT project, her small spot on Osmeña Boulevard has become less visible to her customers.

“Sa una nindot gyud kay makatabok ra. Karon nasirad-an man gyud. Maglisod gyud akong mga suki,” she said. (In the past, my customers could just cross the street. But now that it’s been closed off, it’s become difficult for them to come and buy.)

Estrella added that it is harder for her customers to buy from her especially those coming from the other side of the road.

She has learned to improvise to increase her sales by going to her customers, which means extra effort on her part.

But she is still worried since the project will take months or over a year to be completed.

“Nangita ko ug pamaagi mahalinan, pero nagproblema gihapon ko kay pila ka buwan o tuig pa na mahuman,” she added.

(I have been looking for ways to still be able to sell these fruits, but it will be very hard because the project will take months or years to be finished.)