FOR Rep. Benhur Salimbangon (Cebu, fourth district), the only solution to the lingering traffic toward northern Cebu is to construct a coastal highway from Mandaue City to Carmen, Cebu.

Salimbangon told SunStar Cebu that once the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will submit to him the project’s feasibility study, he will file a bill appropriating funds for it under the 2019 General Appropriations Act.

“We have no other solution to solve the traffic problem but to construct the coastal highway. We cannot widen the existing highway because of the structures within the area and the supposed road-right-of-way (RROW) acquisition,” Salimbangon said.

This will be a part of the “Build, Build, Build” program of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Salimbangon said that the plan of the Metro Cebu Development Coordinating Board (MCDCB), which is advocating Mega Cebu, is to put up another highway along the mountainside.

However, Salimbangon said that the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) is not in favor of that because it can affect the watershed, apart from create problems in the acquisition of RROW.

“I have talked with DPWH Secretary Mark Villar who ordered the conduct of a feasibility study on the coastal highway because, for me, this is the only solution to solve the traffic problem,” Salimbangon said.

“It is cheaper to construct a coastal highway than widen the roads from Mandaue City to Carmen, Cebu,” he added. (EOB)