By John Rey Saavedra
CEBU CITY — Cebuanos on Sunday welcomed President Rodrigo Duterte’s promise to help provide funds for above-ground infrastructure projects to improve the traffic condition in Metro Cebu which, experts say, has cost PHP1.1 billion in daily productivity.
In his speech delivered before Sinulog spectators at the Cebu City Sports Center Grandstand, he said Cebu’s transportation woes will be solved with the introduction of the rail system and “above-ground infrastructures”.
“Cebu is an old city… Wala pa atong gobyerno, naa na ang inyong dan (We don’t have a government yet, you already had your roads). So when it became a city, mao nang naghuot mo (that’s why you get congested)…You cannot expand it anymore even if you’ll have mass transportation. So it’s either train or sa taas (go above ground),” Duterte said.
The President cited the development in Manila and Taiwan which he said could be copied in Cebu, where roads are narrow. “We will help you find the sources of fund of your road project,” he told local leaders.
Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Lloyd Dino seconded Duterte’s observation that the widening of streets here would no longer be feasible, being an old city.
In a message sent to the Philippine News Agency, Dino said he supports Duterte’s pronouncement that “trains or skyways will be the best solution to address the traffic and mass transport (problem) in the metro”.
“This has boosted our morale knowing that we have started working on the Integrated Intermodal Transport System (IITS) in Metro Cebu and the President agrees and even encourages it,” Dino said.
The IITS was among the Department of Transportation (DOTr) Sec. Arthur Tugade’s “basket of solutions” to Cebu’s traffic woes, and will include a rail system, point-to-point bus system, bus rapid transit (BRT), skyways, and intelligent traffic system.
Dino said the only way to solve traffic in Cebu is to go up by building a monorail that has a similar capacity to that of a Light Rail Transit (LRT).
“There is an unsolicited proposal for monorail with the capacity of LRT submitted to NEDA for approval and I am pushing for it so there will be partial operability by 2022,” he said, referring to businessman Dennis Uy’s proposal to building a monorail, instead of LRT as earlier conceived.
Dino praised Tugade’s effort in placing Cebu as one of his top priorities in rolling out government projects meant to solve traffic woes.
“We needed this mass transportation years ago and thankfully we now have a President that cares for his people, and loves the Cebuanos just as much. We need an honest to goodness mass transport system that will be relevant for generations to come,” he said.
Without those proposed projects, Dino said Cebu’s development will not be sustained. (PNA)