Rama to Gwen on BRT: Enough is enough

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram - CDN Digital | February 29,2024 - 11:32 AM

Rama to Gwen over BRT: Enough is enough

After spending more than a decade in the pipeline, construction of the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) commenced in 2023. This photo from the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) team showed portions of the project near the Cebu Provincial Capitol. It was taken last January 2024,

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama has had enough.

The mayor hit Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia on her orders to stop the construction of the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) in province-owned lots along Osmeña Boulevard.

He also took a swipe at Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia, who gave a privileged speech last Wednesday, Feb. 28, backing the governor’s move.

READ MORE: Gwen orders to halt Cebu BRT construction in heritage buffer zones

Both Garcias want to stop the civil works of the Cebu BRT, a long-delayed public mass transportation project for the city, saying these violated heritage laws.

In response, Rama planned to scrutinize the operations of the Cebu North Bus Terminal in North Reclamation Area.

“Kana dinha ‘ron sa SM, we will look into kay katong vice mayor pako kaniadto – I would like to look into the terminal accreditation committee basin naa pay illegal terminal available around,” Rama told lawyer Ruphil Bañoc in his program Straight to the Point for Cebu-based radio station dyHP.

The mayor also wants the Cebu South Bus Terminal transferred to the South Road Properties (SRP).

Governor Garcia has yet to respond to Rama’s comments.

Rama: Enough is enough

For Rama, the BRT issue is the last straw in Governor Garcia’s meddling with affairs concerning Cebu City.

“I would like to remind the governor that there’s a mayor of a highly urbanized city… Come on! Kanus-a man kuno ang gobernador mudikta sa syudad? Di na mahimo while I’m the mayor,” he said.

In a separate livestream episode of the Ign’ang Mayor of the city government’s Public Information Office (PIO), he also enumerated the times the governor intervened in matters involving the city government.

These included the 2023 and 2024 Sinulog Festivals as well as this year’s Solemn Foot Procession, when routes were changed at the last minute after Governor Garcia opposed plans to close N. Bacalso Avenue where the Cebu South Bus Terminal is located.

According to Rama, he decided to remain silent when the province intervened in city matters until they issued the memo that ordered the Cebu BRT team and its contractor to stop construction, prompting him to dare the governor to face him squarely.

“Utong ko. Kay kahibalo man ko na nindut kaayo pagsugod pero bang! Oh, karun wa nay utungay. Atubangay ta!” he said.

Aside from the governor, Rama lashed at Vice Mayor Garcia and several members of the city council, for supporting the Capitol’s memorandum over BRT. He even accused them of treachery for siding with the provincial government.

READ MORE: Cebu City council seeks halt to CBRT construction due to heritage concerns

The vice mayor and the city council could have held an emergency meeting to address this new obstacle over the Cebu BRT, Rama added.

“Mura man og layo kayko nga pwede ra man mo magemergency meeting nako. Unsay privileged speech pa mo,” he said.

After spending more than a decade in the pipeline, the Cebu BRT commenced construction last year. The P17-billion project was intended to help alleviate traffic woes in Cebu City.

Its terminal points are the South Road Properties and Cebu I.T. Park, with routes covering N. Bacalso Avenue, Osmeña Boulevard, and Escario Street.

Project proponents of the Cebu BRT aimed to have it fully operational by 2027, with partial operations beginning this year.

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TAGS: Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (CBRT), Cebu City, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, Cebu Daily News, Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, cebu news

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