By: Morexette Marie B. Erram May 26,2018 - 10:34 PM

BRT(source Colin Brader March 2012)

Set aside political differences.

Saying Cebu is in a traffic crisis that needs quick solution, the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) on Saturday called for the implementation of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project.

In a statement, Antonio Chiu, president of CCCI, said they support the idea of Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and National Economic Development Authority (Neda) Director General Ernesto Pernia to hand over the World Bank-funded P17-billion BRT project to the Cebu City government.

“CCCI supports and respects the Neda-ICC (Investment Coordination Committee) to decide on selecting the group responsible to implement the BRT project as it will be based on its preparedness, competence and willingness of the group to undertake it in the soonest possible time,” he said.

Pernia, in an earlier interview with Cebu Daily News, has however stressed that while he would recommend giving the BRT project to Cebu City if the Department of Transportation (DOTr) would still refuse to implement it, the matter would still have to get the approval of all the members of the Neda-ICC, which he co-chairs.

Chiu, however, said the matter of whether or not the BRT should be implemented should no longer be an issue.

“Cebu is in a crisis situation and any further delay is not acceptable. CCCI would like to reiterate our appeal to all sectors to set aside political differences and work together to solve Cebu’s traffic crisis,” he added.

The CCCI is the biggest business group in the Visayas and Mindanao, next only to the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry. It has more than 800 member-companies and 40 sectorial members.

In an earlier statement, the businessmen said they support the BRT but suggested the need to expand affected roads to make sure the project will work.

Not BRT alone

Since Cebu businessmen believed that the BRT alone cannot solve the traffic mess in Cebu, Chiu called on the DOTr to look for other methods, including the implementation of the Light Rail Transit (LRT) project.

“BRT alone will not completely solve the traffic problem of Cebu so we also appeal to the DOTr to fast track the preparation of other projects such as the LRT project,” he said.

The BRT project is the brainchild of Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña while the LRT is strongly backed by Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Dino.

Osmeña on Friday said that the city government is willing to implement the BRT project in case the DOTr, the project’s implementing agency, will be unable to do so.

Cebu Daily News repeatedly tried to contact Dino through phone, but he didn’t answer the calls. A text message sent to him was also left unanswered.

Affected PUJ routes

While the Neda-ICC has yet to decide on the possibility of letting the Cebu City government to take over the BRT project, the Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board in Central Visayas (LTFRB-7) has started identifying at least 22 public utility jeepney (PUJ) routes in Cebu City that will be affected by the project.

LTFRB-7 Director Ahmed Cuizon said there is a need to determine which routes will be affected by the project as part of the Local Public Transport Route Plan (LPTRP).

The LPTRP serves as a guide to complement the bus and jeepney routes once the BRT is implemented.

Under the LPTRP, Cuizon said the local government units will make their own route plan and determine the kind and quantity of vehicles suitable to their areas in coordination with the LTFRB.

Cuizon said he already informed jeepney operators about the rerouting plans and so far, he has not received much opposition.
“In fact, many of them have expressed support for the BRT,” he said.

The BRT route covers 21 kilometers from Barangay Bulacao in the south and to Barangay Talamban in the north.
Its route comprised of Bulacao in southern Cebu City to Ayala Mall along Cebu South Road, N. Bacalco Avenue, Osmeña Boulevard and N. Escario Street.

Heading north, it will traverse through Gov. M. Cuenco Avenue, which will connect to the Cebu Business Park, Barangay Capitol Site, Ayala Mall and Cebu I.T. Park in Barangay Apas.

“In the LPTRP, these jeepney routes will be rationalized by the LGUs so when the BRT is introduced, there will be no more confusion. The PUJs will now be rerouted and will complement the BRT. There will be symbiotic relationship. They will not compete,” Cuizon explained.

The rerouting plan, he said, will be submitted to the DOTr and once it is approved, it will be given to LTFRB for implementation.
Cuizon said the rerouting plans may be finalized before 2018 ends.

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TAGS: bizmen, BRT, Cebu‬, want

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