Briones: Latest proposal

BEFORE I begin whining about the perennial problem of illegal settlers who insist on living inside danger zones--yes, I’ll be whining since I have nothing to offer in the way of solutions unless--let me talk about the proposed monorail line that will connect the cities of Mandaue and Cebu.

It will be 12 kilometers long, with a terminal hub at the foot of the Marcelo B. Fernan Bridge and 14 stations from Mandaue to the South Road Properties in Cebu City.

If realized, the monorail transit system (MRT) will be operational by 2020.

The people behind this multi-billion peso project are Philtram Transportation Consortium Corp. and China Railway Engineering Consulting Group Co. Ltd. (CEC).

CEC will conduct the feasibility studies as well as the detailed engineering and design.

According to its website, it is one of the major railway survey and design institutes in China with a history of more than 60 years.

It has completed many engineering survey and design projects in Venezuela, Vietnam, Congo, Liberia, Ukraine, Mongolia, Cambodia, Saudi Arabia and Australia involving railways, highways, municipal roads, buildings and mines.”

Okay. So CEC is legit. I just had to check.

As for Philtram, it signed separate memorandums of understanding with the cities of Cebu and Mandaue to collaborate in the conduct of a feasibility study earlier his year.

The MRT “can ferry at least 40,000 passengers per hour every day, or 1,200 persons per trip at a fare of P10.”

Sounds wonderful. Yet, why do I have this nagging feeling that it will be just like the other mass transport proposals? I mean, they’ve been bandying about the light railway transit (LRT) for quite some time, and it’s still in the drawing board.

Anyway, I will take this announcement with a grain of salt. It will be short of a miracle if it does materialize. But this is one of those rare times when I hope to be proven wrong.

So where was I? Oh yes. The people who reside near or next to waterways.

I know many of them have no choice. In fact, most of the residents of Sitio Lower Ponce in Barangay Capitol Site, where a landslide recently claimed two lives, relocated there after their houses were demolished two years ago.

I don’t know how to solve this problem. Maybe they can always have fewer children. Or they can return to wherever it is they come from.

Come to think of it, they can always move to the fringes of the metro, where land is still plentiful. Or so I assume.

If the proposed MRT, LRT and railway ever come to fruition, they won’t have any problem getting to the city center where they like to hang. Again, assuming they can afford the fare.


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