Capitol still wants Cebu BRT construction stopped

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | March 05,2024 - 10:20 AM

Cebu Provincial Board also calls for a stop to the CBRT project.

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 — The Capitol still wants construction of the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) stopped.

This time, it’s coming from the provincial government’s legislative body.

The Provincial Board (PB) on Monday, March 4 passed two resolutions, urging project proponents of the long-delayed Cebu BRT to halt civil works due to violation of heritage laws.

Board Members John Ismael Borgonia of the 3rd District and Glenn Anthony Soco of the 6th District filed separate resolutions during the PB’s regular session last Monday.

These were approved en masse, meaning all in attendance on Monday’s session seconded the board members’ move to push such resolutions.

READ MORE: IN PHOTOS: Cebu BRT bus stations designs unveiled

Traffic, Heritage

Borgonia wanted to put a halt on the construction of the Cebu BRT to protect the Capitol Building’s heritage status. Meanwhile, Soco doubted the project’s effectiveness in addressing traffic problems in the capital Cebu City.

In his speech, Soco pointed out that the ongoing civil works of the Cebu BRT along Osmeña Boulevard had only worsened the traffic situation in the area.

As a result, it could mean significant losses in Cebu’s economy.

“The question remains: how much more economic losses do we have to experience, to suffer, and endure? Thousands and even millions of pesos lost in logistical and transportation expenses considering the rising of fuel prices?” Soco pointed out.

Osmeña Boulevard, also known as Jones, is one of the major thoroughfares in the city. It is a vital link that connects Cebu City’s downtown and uptown districts.

Borgonia, for his part, echoed Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia’s earlier statements that the Cebu BRT construction had allegedly violated heritage laws.

READ MORE: Rama to Gwen on BRT: Enough is enough

Specifically, the apparent failure of its proponents to consult the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).

“We recommend the stoppage of the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit in Osmeña Boulevard due to its adverse effect on the beauty of the Cebu Capitol Building which was declared as a National Historical Landmark,” portions of Borgonia’s resolution read.

Last week, the governor issued a memorandum, ordering project proponents of the Cebu BRT to cease construction works in Osmeña Boulevard as these have violated heritage laws.

The Capitol Building along Escario Street is declared a National Historical Landmark, being one of the few surviving Neoclassical and Art Deco structures in Cebu.

However, Garcia’s move, in which several members of the Cebu City Council followed suit in a separate resolution, earned the ire of Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama.

The P17-billion Cebu BRT commenced civil works in 2023, more than a decade since it was proposed to help alleviate traffic congestion in Cebu City.

RELATED STORY: Cebu LGU seeks stop bus transit project along Fuente Osmeña, capitol

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TAGS: Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (CBRT), Cebu Daily News, Cebu Provincial Board

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