Cebu City Mayor Tommy Osmena is playing the “Imperial Manila” card instead of trusting the decision of NEDA Secretary Ernesto Pernia and Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade to put on hold the implementation of the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit system.
A statement from the DOTr says, “The DOTr believes that a review must be undertaken and that concerns raised must be addressed, so as not to cast any doubt on the integrity of the project. Rest assured that the decision to be made will be anchored on the DOTr’s aim to enhance mobility and connectivity in the country, and to put the convenience of the riding public on topmost priority.”
Secretary Pernia on the other hand says that the BRT will have to wait as the proposed subway and LRT project for Metro Cebu is still being studied.
Osmena getting people like Jover Laurio and the chief clown of a discredited online movement for change to fight as his proxies only tends to cast even more doubt on his true intentions to pressure the national government into proceeding with a project that was hatched during the Aquino Administration.
This doesn’t look too good in light of a recent P8.7 billion road right of way (RROW) scandal in General Santos City. As of the latest news about it, the NBI has filed graft plunder and graft complaints against former Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson and other officials.
According to a news report, the modus operandi of the syndicate that perpetrated the RROW was to have people claim for just compensation of road right of way (RROW) which are intended for rightful owners who were affected by national highway construction at General Santos City.
The members of the syndicate would submit fake titles in the name of non-existent persons or not real landowners. The syndicate would then secure payment using fake land titles.
From 2009 to the latter part of the Aquino administration, the group has allegedly processed more than 300 folders of fake claims “amounting to more or less P8.7 billion.”
On the other hand, the BRT project implementation unit has a P900-million budget for lot acquisition and so far, offers made to the property owners have amounted to P327,404,000.
Although there will be no road widening for the lanes intended for the buses, the City has to acquire a portion of the properties along the route for bus stops and terminals, among other facilities.
The bus route is from Barangay Talamban to Barangay Bulacao, passing Escario St., Osmeña Blvd. and N. Bacalso Ave.
I am not certain that the BRT will pass through the streets mentioned by someone on Facebook but it is worth noting:
Have you seen how narrow Cebu’s roads are? Even in San Francisco, the electric buses are only confined to certain roads which allows the conjoined buses to make wide turns. Imagine a BRT system in Cebu turning left from Mango Avenue to Gorordo Avenue going up to Lahug and then Nivel Hills.
Cebu is mountainous terrain which is why its development had been cantilevered – downtown which evolved from the old capital of Colon, up to midtown where Fuente Osmeña and the provincial capitol is then uptown to Lahug and Busay.
A BRT system wouldn’t work even if you used all the easement available on both sides of the roads including the sidewalks.
There must be an anomaly in the loan obtained given it was under the aegis of the old DOTC under Jun Abaya and the Daang Matuwid robbery gang.
Cebu started going down the drain after Lito Osmeña stepped down as Governor. When Osmeña was still the Governor attention was paid to the details of running the province.
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