Pasil opposes Cebu-Cordova bridge

SAYING it will displace a lot of residents in their community, Barangay Pasil in Cebu City has expressed its opposition to the construction of the Cebu-Cordova Bridge.

The barangay, in a resolution, said the P27-billion 8.25-kilometer project will affect residents living near the Guadalupe River since the project will use 7.5 meters of space each side of the waterway.

“Barangay Pasil resists and defies the proposed construction of the third bridge that will traverse perpendicular along Guadalupe River. However, another venue will be more acceptable as a proposal,” the one page resolution states.

Guadalupe River, starting at its mouth near the Cebu South Coastal Road, is where one of the ramps connecting to the bridge will be constructed. The other is at the South Road Properties (SRP).

The ramp along Guadalupe River was not included in the original plan for the bridge, but the previous administration requested it so that there will be more access to the center of Cebu.

In an interview yesterday, Pasil Barangay Captain Julius Guioguio said residents in four sitios will be displaced by the construction of the ramps.

These are the people living in Sitios Lawis, Lawis Riverside, Concepcion Riverside and Tikaban Riverside.

“Di man mi against sa improvement sa Guadalupe River, pero daghan lang gyud ang maapektaran. Dako kaayo na nga trabahoon (We’re not against the improvement of the river. It’s just that a lot of people will be affected. The project entails a lot of work),” he said.

Once the construction for the project starts, Guioguio said it will cause inconvenience to Pasil residents.

“Madisturbo ang tulog inig ka gabii kay saba na kaayo (The residents will be disturbed in their sleep). Residential man nang naa sa coastal area. Karon lang gani madungog namo nang dagkong sakyanan gaagi sa SRP (South Road Properties),” he said.

According to Guioguio, their concerns have have already been raised to the project proponent, Metro Pacific Tollways Development Corp. when they had a public hearing early this year. They said their concerns have already been recorded.

During the City Council’s regular session last Tuesday, the resolution of Barangay Pasil was referred to the committee on infrastructure for report and recommendation.

Sought for comment, MPTDC legal consultant Aristotle Batuhan said they are waiting for the local government units of Cebu City and Cordova to nominate their representatives to the technical working group (TWG) so they can look into the concerns.

Batuhan said, though, that the project can stand even without the ramp at Guadalupe River. The access along the SRP, he said, can already stand and won’t displace anyone.

“If the City does not want that (Guadalupe River ramp), that’s really their stand. Basta the project can stand without that,” he said.

However, Batuhan said the ramp along the river had been included in the design of the bridge and when they met with Mayor Tomas Osmeña, they made a proposal to do the construction of the ramp in phases.

But Batuhan said it will be the responsibility of the City to clear the riverbanks, based on the joint venture agreement.

“If the City will not deliver the right of way... you will have to change the design so that nobody will be displaced. The river is long, you will find a way,” he said.

Batuhan said any changes can be included in the detailed engineering design. It is important then, he said, for Cebu City and Cordova to already name its representative to the TWG so all these will be addressed.

During their meeting with Osmeña, Batuhan said they assured him that MPTDC will abide by whatever will be the decision of the City.
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