WITH the growing number of PUJs in Cebu City and Metro Cebu, it is time for us to have both bus rapid transit (BRT) and light rail transit (LRT) systems. PUJs driven mostly by abusive and unlettered drivers congest narrow city roads and make travel time longer for passengers who are going to work or school.

The width of the streets in Cebu City cannot accommodate both BRT vehicles and PUJs.

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So it is likely that PUJs will be driven off the road once the BRT operates. I cannot imagine how bad the traffic would be if BRT vehicles and PUJs compete for the same spaces in narrow streets.

Some businessmen I know are for the BRT because it would mean that abusive PUJ drivers will finally be driven off the streets. Undisciplined PUJ drivers have made traffic in the city worse.

But the city should also be ready to address the problem of unemployment once PUJs are no longer in the streets. A good number of PUJ drivers will lose their jobs once the BRT starts rolling in the city streets.

Conversely, Cebu City South District Rep. Tomas Osmeña should not stand in the way of the LRT project initiated by first district Rep. Eddie Gullas even if they are at odds politically.

Now that the elections are over, Osmeña should not object to the approval of the LRT project in Congress. after all, his suspicion that part of the huge loan for the LRT will be used for the campaign in the May 10 elections no longer applies now.

The LRT does not clash with the BRT. The two projects complement each other because the LRT can serve passengers from the cities of Carcar and Danao once PUJs are banned from entering Cebu City.

Cebu City’s BRT can serve passengers of the LRT on their way to work or school. By then travel time from any destination to Cebu City will be cut by half.

Newly appointed DOTC Undersecretary Totol Batuhan supports the setting up of a mass transport system for Cebu, be it the BRT or LRT. This serves as a cue for Osmeña and Gullas to lay down their differences for the good of the province.

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The Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) can be likened to an ailing member of a family. With City Hall’s shoestring budget, one cannot expect the hospital to function well and serve its patients accordingly.

The city hospital does not even deserve the label “medical center,” says a friend. The structure is dilapidated and hospital facilities and equipment are outdated. Funds that City Hall provides are not enough to run it decently.

Apart from mismanagement, funding is also a perennial problem in CCMC. But this is not surprising because the City Government has a gargantuan money problem.

With the large chunk of the city’s income going to the repayment of its huge loan for the construction of the South Road Properties, CCMC problems will stay even with Mike Rama at the helm of the City Government.

A golfing doctor and buddy who does not want to be named said that during an economic crisis, budget for health services is usually the first to suffer. The government system cannot provide a quick response to the needs of the hospital.

If Mayor Mike is serious in improving CCMC services, he should hire a surgeon (I mean a physician and not a CPA-lawyer) as his consultant to dissect the problems at CCMC.

(elespinoza53@yahoo.com)