Bizmen main concern: Solution to Metro Cebu’s traffic woes

By: Jose Santino S. Bunachita July 22,2018 - 09:13 PM

Traffic, the war on drugs and federalism.

These three topics top what some Cebu business leaders expect to hear from President Rodrigo Duterte as he delivers his State of the Nation Address (SONA) today.

These are also some of the concerns they hope the President would focus on as he enters his third year in the presidency.

“On his third year as President, the best thing that PRRD can do for Cebu is to implement a mass transport system and widen our roads to solve the horrendous traffic of Cebu. The fight against illegal drugs has to continue,” said Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) President Antonio Chiu in a text message to Cebu Daily News.

Chiu has been vocal against the problem of traffic in Cebu and how it has affected local businesses especially in the logistics side.

The CCCI earlier threw its support behind the proposal of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) for an Integrated Inter-modal Transport System (IITS) in Metro Cebu that will include both the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and Light Rail Transit (LRT) projects.

The chamber said this kind of synchronized transportation can help ensure the smooth flow of people, vehicles, goods, services and investments in Cebu.

Local businessmen have been complaining about economic losses brought by the worsening traffic congestion in Metro Cebu.

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica), in a study, earlier pegged the economic losses of Cebu due to traffic at P1.1 billion a day.

Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) President Stanley Go also believed that actions should be taken with regards to traffic.

“I believe the BRT and LRT both will be a good project that will be implemented to really help solve traffic. My request is they just need to execute it fast. The lesser the disruption, the better for business,” he told CDN in a phone interview.

A drop in drug-related crimes

Meanwhile, Go gave President Duterte passing marks in his campaign promises of eradicating the illegal drug problem and corruption in government.

Although these two problems may still not be totally solved, he said there have been concrete actions done to address these.

“It may not be totally eliminated but we feel, especially that I go around Visayas and Mindanao, I really feel that there is a drastic reduction on illegal drugs. It may not be totally eliminated but I believe he was able to deliver on that side,” he said.

Go added that the problem of corruption is a harder one to solve.

But he commended the administration’s steps including the establishment of the 8888 anti-corruption hotline and even the emergency hotline 911.

On the economic side, Go said he hoped the President would “surround himself with good people” to make sure that economic plans for the country are fully executed.

Federalism

As President Duterte enters his third year, perhaps the most exciting thrust for local businessmen is the move towards federalism.

Go said this is something that he looks forward to in the President’s agenda and that this will benefit Cebu.

“If indeed federalism is implemented, I think this will be beneficial to Cebu given the contribution of Cebu to the coffers of the national government. More investments in taxes will be reinvested in Cebu,” he said.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque earlier said that the shift to federalism will be on the President’s legislative agenda in his third year in office. The legislative agenda is expected to be submitted to Congress next week.

The House of Representatives has already passed a resolution calling for a Constituent Assembly (Con-ass) that would amend the 1987 Constitution for a change to federalism. The Senate, however, has rejected a Con-ass, unless the voting on proposed amendments will be separate.

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TAGS: bizmen, concern, main, Metro Cebu, solution, traffic, woes

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