Any change in the BRT route is ‘detrimental’ to Cebu City, Cebuanos – Del Mar
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Any changes in the route of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) that is being proposed in Cebu City will be “detrimental” to the city and the Cebuanos, said Rep. Raul del Mar of Cebu City’s north district.
In a privilege speech he delivered in Congress on Tuesday, August 27, Del Mar insisted on the need for government to already “continue and complete it (BRT project implementation) as soon as possible.”
“The primodial purpose of instituting a mass transport system in any city — Manila, Cebu, or anywhere else in the world — is to serve the need of people to travel, in going from home to their workplace, school or other places where they must be and coming back,” he said.
But even with the BRT’s implementation, Del Mar said there is still room for the other mass transport systems being proposed in Cebu by the Department of Transportation (DOTr).
“Cebu needs all the infrastructures it can get. The city is growing faster and congestion comes with development and progress. What we need is inclusive mobility, one which addresses the needs of everybody but most especially the underprivileged ones – the women, the elderly, children, the poor, those with disabilities, the ordinary workers – sales women, construction workers, call center agents, everybody, manicuristas, barbers, etc.,” he said.
In his privileged speech, Del Mar proposed for the Lower House’s Committee on Transportation to call for a public hearing to inquire with the Department of Finance (DOF) and National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) if amendments were already introduce on the national government’s loan agreement with World Bank-IBRD, the Clean Technology Fund (CTF) and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) that will reflect changes on the BRT route.
The loan agreements will fund the project implementation.
In the event that the changes on the loan agreement would not be finalized, Del Mar asked the committee to ask DOTr to reconsider its decision and instead implement the Cebu BRT’s original design.
Lastly, he asked the committee to make an appeal for DOTr to implement his proposal to build a Light Rail Transit (LRT) or the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) in Cebu.
Del Mar said he made the proposal through a bill that he authored and filed since the 8th Congress and has continued to refile until the 18th Congress, which remained pending in the House up to this time. He said he also has other pending bills that seek the construction of a subway and a skyway in three congested road sections in the city’s north district.
DOTr earlier announced a revision of the BRT route. From its original route that will start in Barangay Bulacao in the south to Talamban in the north, the new BRT route will now start the the South Road Properties (SRP) and continue up to the Cebu I.T. Park in Barangay Lahug.
“That is a reduction in the total dedicated BRT length by almost 50 percent, from 23 kilometers to 13 kilometers,” Del Mar said.
Del Mar said that the reduction of the BRT’s route has raised several questions that have remained unanswered to date.
“Mass transport will surely help. And Cebu’s first attempt in mass transport is now being threatened by changes on the plan,” he said. /elb
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