Devt freeze in BRT route gets support from business

Posted on October 11, 2012

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by Aileen Garcia-Yap, Business Reporter

The Bus Rapid Transit seeks to decongest major thoroughfares and provide Cebuanos with faster and more convenient means of transportation. (JUNJIE MENDOZA)

 

Cebu City’s business sector welcomed the proposed development moratorium along the 16-kilometer route of the proposed Rapid Bus Transit which cuts across the city from the north to the south.

Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Philip N. Tan said the temporary freeze of developments along the 16 kilometer route for the BRT project is a needed sacrifice in order to achieve something that will improve the Metro Cebu area.

“We believe that if BRT could help reduce the worsening traffic condition in Metro Cebu, we need to embrace the cost of temporary inconvenience for the good of the majority,” said Tan.

Cebu Business Club president Gordon Alan Joseph agreed with Tan.

Joseph, who is currently in Peru, told Cebu Daily News that everyone from the business sector down to the city residents will just have to adjust to the temporary inconvenience because the BRT needs to be built.

He said the BRT will impact on Cebu’s future in terms of attractiveness to investors and will determine Cebu’s economic growth in the long term.

But Joseph added that he hopes the BRT Technical Working Group will look at all options before coming up with the proposal.

Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Prudencio Gesta said they support the proposal. He said they believe that the business sector is flexible enough to adjust to any business condition moving forward.

“They (TWG) may have a compelling basis to do so to minimize public inconvenience and for orderly traffic flow during the implementation,” said Gesta.

Hotel Resort and Restaurant Association of Cebu president Hans Hauri also gave his support and said the BRT is important to help decongest traffic in the city once it is completed.

“We need to increase productivity of our people by getting them faster to and from their work places, we need to improve the quality and balance of work and leisure and we need to induce discipline into the traffic. It’s a start that might lead to the other half of the city to be improved too,” said Hauri.

He said they already saw the initial plans and he thinks it’s very good.

Philippine Retailers Association Cebu chapter chairman Jay Aldeguer said businessmen like him understand it’s a “necessary evil.”

“In as much as I dread the thought of its short term effect on business establishments, I understand it’s a necessary evil. We just hope the do this quickly and efficiently. All in all I’m sure it will be for the good of Cebu,” said Aldeguer.

The president of the Cebu Holdings, Inc.  (CHI) Francis O. Monera said while they still have to get a copy of the proposal, “we will support the government in initiatives that will be for the good of the city.

He added that the development moratorium should not compromise the interests of lot owners along the BRT route.

CHI is the property developer and manager of the Cebu Business Park.

On Tuesday, the Technical Working Group for the BRT project proposed a development moratorium along the 16-kilometer route of the mass transit system.

The moratorium will affect areas from Cebu South Road in barangay Bulacao, along N. Bacalso Avenue, going to Osmeña Boulevard at the junction of P. del Rosario Street, to the Provincial Capitol area, Escario Street, Cebu Business Park and Archbishop Reyes Avenue to the TESDA flyover.

The BRT, a mass transport system that will use dedicated lanes along Cebu City’s major thoroughfares with strategically located passenger terminals in elevated platforms is now in the final stages of securing funds from the World Bank.

The $211 million project will be funded by a loan by the Department of Transportation and Communication from the WB.

IF funding is secured before the year ends, the detailed engineering plan would be read by the middle of 2013 and actual project construction may start before the end of 2013. The BRT is projected to be operational by 2015.

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