The procurement for the construction of the P16.5 billion Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project has already been approved and will start next week.
The BRT, which aims to decongest Metro Cebu traffic, will start construction in April 2021 and targeted to partially operate before the year ends.
Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade announced this during the inauguration of the new Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) 7’s office Wednesday, January 20.
He added that the P77.57 billion Cebu Monorail is also expected to partially operate before the year ends and that Cebu is included in the areas set for the implementation of a cable car system.
All of these are seen to ease traffic congestion in the Province which provide support to the ongoing efforts of the Cebu Provincial Government.
Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, who heads the Cebu Provincial Traffic Management Board, has been focused on addressing the issues on traffic congestion in the Province, especially in the metropolitan area.
Solutions that are now implemented are the “no-left turn, no-crossing” policy, extended truck ban hours, and the new schedule of releasing cargo from ports.
Garcia expressed her gratitude to DOTr and LTFRB 7 for all of the projects and support to Cebu and committed assistance, if needed.
“The only way that I could possibly express my thanks not just in words but in deed so allow me to commit a 101-percent support to the needs of LTFRB-7 in whatever way we can help,” she said.
In her speech, the governor highlighted how the LTFRB 7 greatly contributed to the smooth implementation of safety protocols for public transportation in the Province during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Thanks to Col. Montealto and RD Caindec (LTO 7 Director Victor Caindec), we were able to steer in a clear direction the Province of Cebu through the biggest challenge any of us public officials have faced – the Covid-19 pandemic,” she said.
Even now that the Province is moving towards economic resuscitation, Garcia said Montealto and Caindec continue to support the Province in managing the horrendous traffic situation in Cebu.
Other infra projects
Aside from the traffic solution projects, Tugade also shared the ongoing construction of a taxiway at the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) which is set to be completed by February 2021. DOTr will also build a second runway at the airport targeted to be completed before May 2022.
“Ano po ang kahalagahan ng taxiway and second runway? Ito po ay magpapalawig at magpapabilis ng take-off at landing (ng mga eroplano), madadagdagan yung bilis, in other words, mapapalawig yung biyahe ng turista ng taga Cebu, ng mga Pilipino at kung sinu-sinoman maglalakbay sa Cebu,” he said.
Tugade added that an evacuation center is being built in MCIA which will be completed in May 2021. The facility can be used not just during the Covid-19 pandemic but during various emergencies that may arise.
The DOTr has also provided funds for the P10.1 billion New Cebu International Container Port (NCICP) in Consolacion town.
Tugade also said that DOTr is looking at putting another airport in northern Cebu following the opening of the Bantayan Airport.
“Ito po lahat ang mga bagay-bagay na aking naaalala na ibahagi sa inyo, na ang Cebu at kayo ma’am (referring to Garcia) special,” he said.
New LTFRB office
Montealto expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the governor for the enormous help the Province extended to their office, recalling the assistance they received after a fire hit their office in 2019.
The LTFRB 7 has transferred offices four times since 1987. Now, they are no longer “wandering nomads” as they found their home after 33 years, said Garcia.
The new LTFRB-7 office is located at 103 Gen. Echavez St., Lorega San Miguel, Cebu City, in an 1,800-sq.m. lot.
Tugade reminded LTFRB 7 personnel to provide excellent service towards their clients in Cebu and the rest of Central Visayas.
He urged them to shorten the processing time of each transaction, show passion for good service and governance, and say no to corruption.
Also present during the inauguration were Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Dino, Caindec, Cebu City Legal Officer Atty. Rey Gealon in behalf of Mayor Edgardo Labella, and LTFRB Chairman Atty. Martin Delgra III, among others. (Mylen Manto)