Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade has set the end of 2021 as the deadline for the implementation of the planned Metro Cebu Integrated and Intermodal Transport System (MCIITS).
“I don’t want this project to be protracted any longer. I am here to make decisions for my country and for Cebu. DOTr will set the timeline. I want the project to start and be completed. This has to move fast. If you do not observe our timeline, we will have to part ways. I will not allow anyone to tie my hands with the timeline,” Tugade said during a meeting with Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Dino in Cebu City on Saturday, July 6, 2019.
“I want the people of Cebu to see a combination of railways, BRT and cable cars. We have to have these by the end of 2021, the latest,” Tugade added.
The DOTr secretary visited Cebu on Saturday and met with Dino as well as with officials from the World Bank and technical support consultants from Egis and French Development Agency to discuss the project.
The group also inspected the location of the proposed Common Station and met with renowned Cebuano designer Kenneth Cobonpue, who is being tapped to design the stations and greenways that will form part of the transport system.
The proposed Metro Cebu Integrated Intermodal Transport System is a combination of the proposed monorail systems and the long delayed P16-billion Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project.
The Cebu BRT project has been delayed for more than four years. It was approved for financing by the World Bank in September 2014 yet. The loan has a closing date of June 30, 2021.
According to a World Bank report in December 2018, the DOTr committed to implement the project in July 2018. A technical support consultant and social management consultant were contracted in September 2018.
Tugade, however, has expressed preference for a railway system since, according to him, Cebu’s roads are too narrow for a BRT.
The DOTr in December 2018 granted original proponent status (OPS) to the Davao-based Udenna Infrastructure Corporation, which has submitted an unsolicited proposal to undertake a Cebu Rail Project through the public-private partnership (PPP) program.
The project, which calls for the establishment of a monorail system for Metro Cebu, is estimated to cost P80 billion.
Udenna officials were expecting the DOTr to complete its review of the project last month and endorse the project to the Investment Coordination Committee (ICC) Technical Board of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) for technical evaluation. (Ventures Cebu)