Tom Osmeña on call for halt of Cebu BRT civil works: ‘We have leaders acting like spoiled brats’

By: Pia Piquero - CDN Digital | March 05,2024 - 03:48 PM

Tommy Osmeña BRT

Tommy Osmeña, former Cebu City mayor, speaks during a press conference on Tuesday, March 5, 2024. CDN Digital photo | Pia Piquero

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Former Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña lambasted several Cebu government officials following the call to halt the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (CBRT) civil works.

Osmeña called out officials, particularly City Councilor James Cuenco, the Provincial Board, and Cebu Provincial Governor Gwen Garcia.

“It’s very important not to insult the funders of a major assistance project because you’re asking for trouble. Never mind trouble for yourself, it’s the people that suffer,” Osmeña said in a press conference on Tuesday, March 5, 2024.

READ MORE: Rama on Capitol’s stoppage of CBRT: ‘Do not interfere’

“We have leaders acting like spoiled brats,” he added.

Last February 21, City Councilor James Cuenco delivered a privileged speech during the council’s regular session, urging the temporary suspension of ongoing civil works on the project.

During his privileged speech, Cuenco raised the motion urging the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to temporarily suspend the civil works of phases 2 and 3 pending the creation and meeting of the CBRT Technical Working Group (TWG).

Then, just recently, the Provincial Board passed two resolutions, urging project proponents of the long-delayed Cebu BRT to halt civil works due to violations of heritage laws.

According to Osmeña, it is important not to insult the funders of a major assistance project costing billions, such as the Cebu BRT.

“I was very disturbed by headlines reporting that provincial and city council wanted CBRT stopped,” Osmeña said.

Osmeña noted that if the Cebu BRT project is stopped, Cebu City, even worse, the Philippines, would be blacklisted by the donor nations, including Japan, England, and Germany.

Osmeña explained  that the national government would not permit the cessation of the Cebu BRT project, as it is integral to an international bilateral treaty.

“The Philippine government will not amend, will not spoil their international credit rating because of what Councilor Cuenco and some cr*zy Provincial Board ego-tripping that we should stop BRT,” he stressed.

Moreover, the former mayor expressed being displeased with the behavior of Cebu government officials, describing them as “bastos.”

He also commented on the reason behind the Provincial Board halting the CBRT project on the grounds of heritage concern, stating that it was not as if the project would destroy the Capitol building.

“At the very least they should be polite. Walang bastosan. They are acting like they know it all… It’s hurting Cebu,” Osmeña said.

He even emphasized that the Provincial Board has “no teeth,” stating that they don’t have the power to halt the CBRT project.

“The way they are talking… It’s like the national government works for them,” he stressed.

Osmeña made it clear during the press conference that his comment on the recent development of the CBRT project and the ongoing conflict between the Cebu government officials has nothing to do with him promoting or selling the CBRT.

“I’m not selling the BRT… I’m not promoting BRT… It’s not the way to address this problem,” he said.

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TAGS: BRT, Cebu City, government

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