Cebu district reps back Garcia’s move to stop BRT works

Cebu district reps back Garcia’s move to stop BRT works
File photo

SEVERAL Cebu district representatives rallied in support of Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia’s order to halt a portion of the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit project, citing heritage protection for the nearly century-old Capitol building.

On Sunday, March 25, 2024, Sixth District Rep. Daphne Lagon, Seventh District Rep. Peter John Calderon, Lone District of Mandaue Rep. Emmarie Ouano-Dizon and Ako Bisaya Party-list Rep. Sonny Lagon issued separate statements backing the governor’s decision to issue a cease and desist order against the contractor of the first package of the CBRT project in the uptown portion of Osmeña Blvd., citing violations of heritage laws.

These lawmakers stressed the protection and preservation of a heritage site, including its buffer zones, for the benefit of present and future generations of Filipinos, especially Cebuanos.

In a statement, Sonny and Daphne Lagon said the encroachment of the CBRT Package 1 on the buffer zones of the Cebu Provincial Capitol and Fuente Osmeña Circle “potentially” violates several laws of heritage protection and preservation. Hence, the governor only exercised her authority to ensure compliance with laws and regulations that seek to protect cultural properties, both lawmakers said.

Calderon said the Capitol building is a declared heritage site and one of the most recognizable and iconic buildings in the whole of Cebu.

He said the administrative case filed by Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama against the governor was used and “abused” to diminish and destroy the Capitol’s universal and cultural value.

“Clearly, the administrative case filed against Governor Garcia is frivolous, at the very least, and must be dismissed immediately,” he said.

On Friday, March 22, Rama filed an administrative case before the Office of the President against Garcia for alleged abuse of authority, grave misconduct, improper conduct, and unprofessional conduct for a public official.

Rama’s complaint stemmed from Garcia’s Memorandum 16-2024, ordering the Hunan Road and Bridge Construction Group Co. Ltd. to stop the construction of a bus station near the Provincial Capitol building. / EHP

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