Once again, Lapu Council turns down expressway proposal
LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu—For the second time around, the Lapu-Lapu City Council has turned down the proposed Lapu-Lapu Expressway (LLEX) of Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan.
In a special session on Tuesday morning, December 14, 2021, the resolution authorizing the mayor to enter into a contract with the proponent of the expressway failed to pass the council.
The council voted, 7-5, in favor of the opposition councilors, who voted against the project due to some concerns, particularly with regards to the contract.
It can be recalled that last Thursday, December 9, 2021, Councilor Michael Dignos, the chairman of the committee on infrastructure, tossed the proposed skyway project back to Chan due to some concerns that the councilors wanted to be clarified.
On Tuesday, December 15, after discussion with resource persons, councilor Nelson Yap moved for the approval of the resolution that was duly seconded by Sangguninang Kabataan President and ex-officio member Laika Tampus.
But it was objected by councilors Dignos and ABC president Eduardo Cuizon.
Tension rose between Dignos and City Attorney James Sayson, who represented the mayor during the session.
This is after Dignos didn’t want to recognize representatives of the private proponents of the project, which are Premium Megastructures, Inc., Ulticon Builders, Inc., and MTD Philippines, Inc., as resource persons.
“Sila ang niduso, sila ang nag-istudyo, sila ang nahibawo. So mao na nga dili na sila mo-rely ngadto kay kung mo-rely paka sa pikas sa atoang resource person nga private individuals, nagpasabot na nga wa nimo matugkad maayo ang imohang kontrata,” Dignos said during the session.
“It is the prerogative of the city mayor to ask the proponent to also explain on behalf because let us remember that what we are entering into is a joint venture agreement. Meaning, we will become partners with the private proponent,” Sayson responded.
Councilor Flaviano “Bobit” Hiyas, however, intervened and ask his colleagues to just allow the private proponent to represent the mayor so that their session can move forward.
Dignos continue to ask the representatives of the mayor to shed light on the provision of the contract, regarding the aviation road that would become part of the skyway project.
The expressway, based on the proposal, will pass through Barangay Babag, Cebu Light Industrial Park in Barangay Basak, Aviation Road, Carmelite Foundation School, Barangay Ibo, and the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) access road.
The councilor expressed concern for the residents and establishments along the Aviation Road if ever this will be closed.
Sayson, however, explained that they will not close the Aviation Road and that if ever this will be closed from, the proponent will give a service road for them.
Chan, for his part, expressed his dismay to opposition councilors who voted against the project.
He said he plans to put up a billboard in every barangay affected that will show the City Councilors who blocked the building of skyway from the third bridge to the airport.
“Ibutang nato kinsay ning mga konsehal nga nibabag ug kinsay wa mobabag,” Chan said.
The Cebu–Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX) is set to open in the first quarter of next year, and the mayor expects a sudden surge in traffic volume in the City.
“Wala tan-awa sa mayorya sa konseho ang sitwasyon kung mag-abli na ang Cebu–Cordova Link Expressway, ma inutil sa trapiko ang Lapu-Lapu City,” he said.
Chan said that the LLEX will complement and solve the traffic situation in the city after the CCLEX will be opened to motorists.
The proposed LLEX, a skyway project, is worth P24.8 billion that will be implemented under a private-public partnership (PPP) arrangement, with no cost from the city government.
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