Osmeña on BRT stoppage: ‘Scrap Pesquera, Cuenco, Rama. Save Cebu’

By: Pia Piquero - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | January 12,2024 - 12:58 PM

Dismissed case Rama

Former Cebu City Mayor Tomas “Tommy” Osmeña

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Former Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña slammed two city councilors for calling to stop the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (CBRT) project.

“We should scrap Pesquera, Cuenco, including Rama and all their councilors. Save Cebu. The BRT is not perfect but it favors the poor car-less people in far-flung Pardo in the South to the far-flung North in Talamban,” Osmeña said in his statement released on Friday, January 12.

During the regular session of the council held last Wednesday, January 10, Majority Floor Leader Jocelyn Pesquera expressed her stance, affirming her commitment to advocating for the legislative body’s withdrawal of support for the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (CBRT).

Cebu City Councilor James Cuenco, the chairman of the council’s committee on transportation and communication, also noted the perceived “red flags” surrounding the ongoing implementation of the BRT.

Despite the CBRT’s incomplete status, Cuenco believes it’s already echoing problems seen in failed Bus Rapid Transit systems in other countries, similar to the issues faced in Hanoi, Bangkok, and Delhi.

READ: Things to know about the Cebu BRT — the first in the country

Cuenco also criticized the CBRT’s planning and design, specifically mentioning that it lacks access points to low-income neighborhoods.

With this, Osmeña labeled Cuenco as an “elitist,” asserting that Cuenco seems to favor treating private cars as first-class citizens while relegating public transportation to second-class status.

“Elitist Cuenco wants to treat private cars like first-class citizens and public transportation as second-class citizens (status quo),” he said.

Osmeña emphasized that the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system is intended to prioritize the majority, specifically the economically disadvantaged individuals who heavily rely on public transportation.

READ: Gold-rated Edsa BRT: Goodbye to ‘commutergeddon’

Osmeña pointed out that during the administrations of Labella and Rama, the Pardo and Talamban routes for the BRT were scrapped.

Additionally, he highlighted the perceived disproportionate benefits to two major malls in Cebu City and their customers as the primary beneficiaries of the BRT project.

“The cost remains the same, P16B even though the distance is cut from 25 km to 12 km. To the poor Cebuanos, I say the joke is on you,” Osmeña said.

He further added, “There’s a lot more I can add but helping Cebu is no longer my responsibility. Let’s just get high on Rama’s dream of Singapore and Cuenco’s fantasy of a subway. Pit Señor everyone!”


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TAGS: BRT, Cebu City, Cuenco, Osmeña, Pesquera, Rama

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