Cuenco: Urgency, not change of plans needed for BRT

By: Dyrecka Letigio - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | October 09,2021 - 11:07 AM
James Cuenco

Cebu City Councilor James Cuenco. | file photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Councilor James Cuenco, chairperson of the committee on transportation in the City Council, said the problem with the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project was not so much as the plans, but rather the delay in its implementation that would need urgent solutions.

Recently, former Mayor Tomas Osmeña and Presidential Assistant to the Visayas, Secretary Michael Dino, squabbled once more over the decade-long project that had yet to be realized.

Osmeña has claimed that Dino stole the project and caused its delay while Dino claimed Osmeña’s plans were never feasible and would only cause an eventual disaster.

Cuenco said he believed that there was no point in arguing the current plan of the BRT, but it was disappointing that the project’s timeline had been stretched this long.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) promised partial operations by the end of the year, but as of September 2021, documentary requirements to the projects have not been completed, the deadline for which was in May 2021.

“Actually ang BRT man gud naa na sa pipeline, if magsige tag usab-usab man gud, kada administrasyon lain og design, di gyod ta mahuman ani. Naa naman unta na tanan, it’s already in place, all we need are the different agencies to put their acts together,” said Cuenco.

(Actually, the BRT is already in the pipeline. If we always change the design in every administration, then we cannot finish it. Everything is all here. It’s already in place. All we need are the different agencies to put their acts together.)

Until now, the DOTr has not informed the city if they have managed to get the signature of 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).

READ: May targets for BRT unaccomplished, City dad urges DOTr to hasten implementation

This has caused the delay in the awarding of the project contract to a bidder because there is no approved budget yet.

Cuenco said he feared that with the elections drawing near, the election ban might halt the project and it would be delayed until the next administration would take over by 2022.

“So I hope dili nalang unta magsquabble parte sa BRT, motabang nalang silag follow-up sa existing system nato sa design. The original timeline has been changed, obviously wala pa sila kasugod. Mahitabo ani after the elections napud kay naay election ban,” said Cuenco.

(So I hope that we will not squabble about the BRT. We will just help in following up our existing system of design. The original timeline has been changed. Obviously, they have not started yet. What will happen then it will have to be done after the elections again because we have an election ban.)

The councilor appeals to the DOTr to award the project already before the election ban so that the BRT’s construction will finally commence even when the elections are ongoing.

RELATED STORIES

Tomas and Dino squabble anew over BRT

Cuenco: I don’t think DOTr can deliver BRT promise on time

DOTr seeks 2-year extension for BRT loans 

/dbs

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TAGS: BRT, Cuenco, Dino, Osmeña, squabbling

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