Rama slams calls to halt BRT project as ‘most stupid thing’

By: Pia Piquero - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | January 13,2024 - 10:37 AM

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama | Screengrab from Cebu City News and Information

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama | Screengrab from Cebu City News and Information

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama criticized the idea of halting the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (CBRT) project, calling it “the most stupid thing to do.”

His response followed councilors Jocelyn Pesquera and James Cuenco expressing concerns and withdrawing support for the project due to perceived issues in design and planning.

Rama disagreed with labeling CBRT as an “abject failure” based on its implementation in other countries, expressing his stance on the “Ingna’ng Mayor” teleradyo program.

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

“I wish they (councilors) should not be coming out with stupid comments… If you cannot put up, shut up!” Rama said.

Rama warned city legislators to “be careful” when making statements against the CBRT as the project is managed by the national government and funded by the World Bank (WB) and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD).

The mayor asserted stopping or scrapping the CBRT would also be an insult to the efforts of the city’s previous administrations, which contributed to planning and realizing the project since its conceptualization in 1996.

‘Present your alternative’

“Scrapping, wow! They should be careful with that. Mura ra nag gi-scrap nila si (former mayor) Tomas Osmena, ako, ug si Mayor Edgardo Labella. I-scrap nalang mi tanan? Is there another group coming in that we will have to be scrapped?” he said.

Moreover, the mayor expressed dissatisfaction with councilors for suggesting the termination of the CBRT project without presenting a viable alternative.

“Unsa may option? If you scrap, you have to be extra careful with that word. Liman ka, imung i-scrap dayun gikan sa national government, kinsa pama’y mopautang nato?” he asked.

He further mentioned that those councilors who are criticizing the CBRT project now were the same councilors who were very supportive of the project back then.

“They should be honest enough. Because if they are not honest enough, they are mentally dishonest,” he said.

Meanwhile, former Mayor Tomas Osmeña also expressed his stance on the issue, criticizing both Pesquera and Cuenco and even including the incumbent mayor, Michael Rama.

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

“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,” he stated.

Osmeña further noted that the CBRT is intended to prioritize the majority, specifically the economically disadvantaged individuals who heavily rely on public transportation.

“There’s a lot more I can add but helping Cebu is no longer my responsibility,” he added.

Rama, however, told CDN Digital that he has “no comment” regarding Osmeña’s stance.


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TAGS: BRT Project, Cebu City, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama

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