May targets for BRT unaccomplished, City dad urges DOTr to hasten implementation
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The targets for May 2021 that should jumpstart Phase One of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system implementation in Cebu City were not accomplished.
This was the revelation of Cebu City Councilor James Cuenco, the chairman of the City Council’s committee on transportation as the month draws to an end.
Councilor Cuenco has already said that there are two major processes that the national Department of Transportation (DOTr) is yet to accomplish supposedly targetted this month.
This includes the approval of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) on the scope and cost of the project, which in turn, is necessary to get the budget approved by the Department of Budget and Finance (DBM).
The project contract has not been awarded to the bidder as well because the budget from the DBM has not been downloaded.
“The local DOTr offices cannot do anything about this kay everything is in a national level. Wala paman nila ma-accomplish, nya nagtarget silag December 2021, hanap paman sa akong pagtan-aw,” said Cuenco.
Cuenco is urging the national agencies involved to hasten the process because the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte is about to end in 2022.
The election will once again put the project in limbo because it is not clear what a new administration would do to the existing plans.
Although the BRT project will most likely not get affected by the election ban, there is a huge chance that a new administration will want to change the routes bringing the project back to square one.
This is why it is essential that Phase One of the construction begins as soon as possible. At this rate, Cuenco fears Cebuanos will end the year without the long-awaited BRT.
“Akoa lang, paspasan nila because nobody wants the project delayed,” he said.
In fact, the Cebu City government has been working on its part of the project through the expropriation of necessary lots affected in the road widening.
With the cooperation of the local agencies, Cuenco hopes DOTr steps up in hastening the project because he said for every month that the project is delayed is another month that Cebuanos are deprived of the traffic solutions they desperately need. /rcg
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