THE Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project might be further delayed as the Department of Transportation (DOTr) reorganized the project implementation unit (PIU) and the services of 13 of its members were terminated.
In an interview, Atty. Rafael Christopher Yap who heads the (PIU) clarified, though, that their office was not dissolved by DOTr.
Yap said that the 13 members who were let go were mostly working for the land acquisition proponent of the project.
“We expect that we will have some difficulties in catching up with our timeline on the implementation of the land acquisition component,” he said.
“We know that the land acquisition is the usual cause of delays for any project implementation so we’re worried that lesser people working on land acquisition will result some delays in the project,” he added.
The reorganization of the PIU was implemented last March 23.
Asked if what is the reason behind the move, Yap said he doesn’t know. It also unknown if the 13 individuals will be replaced.
PIU is now only composed of seven people.
Yap also disclosed that he requested Mayor Tomas Osmeña to revoked his detail order to DOTr and appoint another head of PIU since he will be leaving to pursue further study in Japan.
Yap assured, though, that he will work with his successor for the success of the project.
Despite the changes, Yap said that the BRT project is still a go.
“The direction of DOTr has always been to proceed with the project,” he said.
So far, PIU is set to begin the procurement stage of the project this year. They are already finalizing the documents for the procurement while works on the land acquisition is also ongoing.
The PIU started the land acquisition last year by sending offer letters to the owners of the structures that will be affected by the project.
The target actual construction of the project will start next year. (RVC)