BFP 7, LTO 7 offices ‘need to move’

Cebu City map.
Cebu City map.

ASIDE from wanting the Cebu South Bus Terminal (CSBT) to transfer to another location, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama also wants the offices of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) 7 and the Land Transportation Office (LTO) 7 to move out of the area.

In an interview on Friday, March 8, 2024, Rama said he wants to convert the area into a medical arts, wellness and command center that will feature diabetic, heart and cancer centers.

He said he has instructed City Administrator Collin Rosell to address the matter.

Rama said everything will be taken care of, adding that his term will end in 2031, but he did not elaborate.

“I wish it could be something that can be addressed and can be put to work or (bring) it all to ground zero,” he said.

The CSBT and the BFP 7 and LTO 7 offices are located along N. Bacalso Ave. where the first package of the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit project is being implemented. The first package covers a distance of 2.38 kilometers and runs from the CSBT to the front of the Capitol building along Osmeña Blvd.

The mayor earlier asked the CSBT to relocate to the South Road Properties (SRP) to accommodate ongoing civil works of the project.

On Friday, however, he said the Provincial Government, which operates the CSBT and owns the lot it sits on, should be responsible for finding a suitable location.

He said the City is willing to assist, but the Provincial Government should not dictate the process.

Rama reiterated his stance that terminals should not be located within the city center, but rather in the farthest areas to the north, south, west and east.

In an interview on Thursday, March 7, City Councilor James Anthony Cuenco, chairman of the committee on transportation, said the transfer of CSBT would be feasible only if officials agreed among themselves instead of reacting negatively.

Cuenco said Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia was “amenable” to the idea of transferring the CSBT to SRP last year, but that was when Rama and the governor were still on good terms.

“Ill-timed man gud (Rama’s call is ill-timed) because they started quarreling with each other. Nindot unta to last year kay hapsay pa ang relasyon (The move should have been made last year when the relationship was still smooth),” he said.

He said that even if the mayor ordered the council to pass an ordinance for the establishment of a new south bus terminal at the SRP, the Provincial Government might be unwilling to transfer.

He said the City cannot evict the CSBT because the land it sits on is owned by the Province.

He also pointed out that the Province has the proper permits, with which the City cannot simply revoke without just cause.

Cuenco also said the transfer of the CSBT is “easier said than done,” adding that infrastructure is also needed before transferring to the SRP.

He said if the City Government builds a new terminal, it cannot be a so-and-so facility.

“Dili pwede nga basta-basta lang nga terminal. It has to be better than the existing because we are not just a sixth-class municipality. We are a first-class city,” he said.

Cuenco said that if the terminal is transferred to the SRP, public utility vehicles (PUVs) will need to be rerouted so commuters can get there.

As of press time, the City’s Local Public Transport Route Plan (LPTRP) has not yet been approved.

The LPTRP details the route network, mode and required number of units per mode for delivering land transport service, which shall be the minimum requirement prescribed for the issuance of PUV franchises.

With regard to the legality of the transfer, Cuenco said that will also take time, especially if there is an opposing party.

He said there is no “unilateral direction” in solving issues due to different stances.

He said the solution has to start with not just a dialogue between the mayor and the governor, but also between the council and the Provincial Board. / AML


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