Some Cebu residents lack awareness of CBRT despite ongoing construction

Some Cebu residents lack awareness of CBRT despite ongoing construction
Photo by Jobeth Dick Husay, NWSSU intern

MORE than a year since the start of the construction for the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (CBRT), some Cebu City residents still do not have enough knowledge about the project.

Marlon Caparas, a siomai vendor, said he usually passes by Osmeña Blvd. where the construction is ongoing, but he admitted he is not that knowledgeable about the project.

Caparas said he only gets update about the CBRT from social media and word of mouth.

Jevie Genis, a tanod (village watchman) from Barangay Sto. Niño, said that he only knows about the BRT project from its construction near South Bus Terminal and on Osmeña Blvd. but that is all he knows as of now.

He said he has read about it in newspapers and seen it on national news since it was launched to the public in 2023.

Public utility jeepney (PUJ) driver using the alias "Ronald" said the effectiveness of the CBRT will only be felt once the construction is completed.

“Maayo man kuno na [BRT], makawala kuno na’s traffic. Mao man gyud na’y project sa gobyerno diha sa Cebu ba…Mahibaw-an gyud na ig human gyud kung unsa gyud kay hapit naman na mahuman (It's said that the BRT [Bus Rapid Transit] is good, it can supposedly alleviate traffic. It's a project by the government in Cebu. We'll know of its true impact once it's completed, as it's nearing completion),” said Ronald.

Juris Laguma, a parking attendant, admitted that it was his first time hearing about such a government project, as he is not a social media user. He emphasized, though, that as long as it is “para sa kaayuhan sa tanan (for the benefit of all),” he is in full support of the government's latest civic work.

A courier, who asked not to be named, said that he knew about CBRT as it was broadcasted in 2018 but is unsure if it is a national or a Cebu initiative.

“Dili ko kabalo anang BRT pero nakadungog lang ko ana last 2018. Dili sad ko sure if sure if kay governor [Gwendolyn Garcia] or national ni na project. (I don't know much about the BRT, but I heard about it back in 2018. I'm not sure if it's a project by the Governor [Gwendolyn Garcia] or a national project),” said the courier.

A private lawyer, Godwin Manginsay, said that while the government has made significant efforts to educate Cebuanos about CBRT, he thinks that the citizens are not sufficiently concerned about it.

“Until it [CBRT construction] becomes their [citizens'] problem or affected by it that they begin to blame (the) government for all the static going on as result of the construction,” Manginsay said.

He added that there was already an information drive being done by the government at the launch event, including TV and radio ads alongside consultations required by the law but he is uncertain if this was “properly attended” and if there was an “effort to go around” for barangay awareness.

Genis, a tanod from Barangay Sto. Niño, confirmed that there was no information drive about the CBRT plans in their barangay, unlike the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX) project.

CBRT aims to improve the quality and level of commuting experiences for the commuters of Cebu. Its package 1 spans 1.38 kilometers along Osmeña Blvd., from the Capitol to the Cebu South Bus Terminal (CSBT), and is targeted to be completed by July 2024. (Eva Joy Bugas/UP Cebu intern and Jobeth Dick Husay/NWSSU intern)

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